Clare athletics was rocked this week with the news that long-serving official, James Sexton, had stepped down from his role as public relations officer for the county organisation.
The decision was communicated in writing to the board secretary, Vincent McCarthy, at the weekend. It is expected to be discussed at a meeting of Clare athletics scheduled for Monday next.
The Moy native, a member of Kilmurry-Ibrickane/North Clare AC, took the decision because he is dissatisfied with the number of transfers that are going to Ennis Track AC.
Speaking to The Clare Champion, Sexton expressed anger and disappointment that “athletes are being taken from the smaller clubs around the county and this isn’t fair. Nothing is being done about it”.
Responding to a query from The Clare Champion, Clare athletics chairman Michael Lillis said, “We have received the letter and will be discussing it on Monday night. In Clare athletics we have been spoilt for many years because of the great work which James has been doing. We really didn’t have to do anything as he did all the work and it will be very difficult to replace him”.
The annual general meeting of Clare athletics is due at the end of September.
On the question of athletes transferring from one club to another, he said, “it happens”.
“The club secretary must sign the application and it has to be ratified by the county board. There are a number of applications before the next meeting,” he added.
Ennis Track Club president and founder, Gerry Hayes, also praised the work of James Sexton. “He is a marvellous man and has spent all of his life promoting athletics. If a good lad from my club left, I would be upset. There are four transfer requests in for athletes to come to our club this yea. It’s their choice. We have nothing to do with it. They haven’t gone through yet and have to be sanctioned by the county board.
“We haven’t gone looking for anyone. They have come to us. Athletes go and come from clubs. We have a good structure and we care for athletes,” he said.