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Tag Archives: gaa

O’Leary does the business in London

FIFTEEN minutes into Sunday’s game in Ruislip, London corner-back Philip Butler was met with the curly finger. He had been beaten to virtually every ball by his 19-year-old opponent, who was playing just his third national league game for Clare. To date, Kilmihil’s Martin O’Leary, who scored 0-4, has been one of Clare’s most potent forwards in the 2014 campaign. He attributes this to the quality and guidance of the more experienced players around him. “They’ve been around the block. The likes of Tubs [David Tubridy] inside in the full-forward line, his movement is unbelievable and then we have the likes of Gary [Brennan] kicking in the ball. If you make it stick, take on your man,” is how he put it after Clare’s second league win of the new season. Clare introduced five subs, including a couple of U-21s and a few old stagers. “There’s a good mix. We had two young lads in Jamie [Malone] and Jack [O’Dea] …

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Remembering Kevin Stapleton

By Peter O’Connell ONE of Clare’s best-known GAA supporters passed away recently. Kevin Stapleton, who was 92, was born in Limerick and reared in Kilkee but lived and worked for 46 years in England. Resident in Ennis since his return to Ireland in 1989, he was a regular at Clare hurling and football games. He was also a colourful contributor to The Clare Champion letters page. In an interview with The Clare Champion in October 2012, Kevin recalled growing up in West Clare. “I was born in Limerick but I was in Kilkee at nine weeks old. My mother died at birth, so I never saw her,” he recounted sadly. Kevin and his twin brother, Thomas, were reared by their grandmother, Bridget Stapleton, whom they treated as their mother. She was a woman with straightforward convictions, as evidenced by Kevin’s name change around the time of his confirmation. It turns out his name was not actually Kevin. “When I was christened, …

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The late John O'Donoghue

A man for all seasons

HE was famously known around Ennis as “the man with the tractor”. Yet there was a lot more to John O’Donoghue, a whole lot more. In the first instance, he was a son, a brother, an uncle, a neighbour and, above all else, a friend. A man who neither backed down nor backed off when put to the test, a man with an iron will when he had made his mind up and a person who lived every one of his 93 years without fear. To further enhance his many hidden qualities, he was a passionate GAA man, an engrossing political enthusiast and an outstanding conversationalist and raconteur. John was born in the townland of Drumcreen on the borders of Dysart and Kilnamona in June 1920. He was the second child of Jack and Mary O’Donoghue (née Kelly). His sister, Bridie, married in Crusheen and became the mother of the famous Tierney clan there. John inherited the family farm when …

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Roche becomes handball president

By Seamus Hayes CLARE’S Willie Roche took over as president of the GAA Handball, at the organisation’s annual congress in The Inn at Dromoland last weekend. Mr Roche from the Newmarket-on-Fergus club has had a long career in handball, first as a player and then as an administrator. He has fulfilled many roles including, most recently, that of chairman of the Munster Handball Council. He becomes the third Clare official to hold the prestigious post following in the footsteps of Caimin Jones, also Newmarket-on-Fergus, and Michael Boyce. In his address, Mr Roche spoke of his delight at securing the position and reflected on his involvement over a long period in the game. He outlined his plans for the next three years, as he seeks to progress the game at all levels. GAA president, Liam O’Neill, who also addressed delegates, spoke of the huge potential for the game of one wall handball and reiterated his view that he would like to …

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Davy honoured by Limerick Institute of Technology

CLARE hurling manager, Davy Fitzgerald was among those who received a Fellowship from the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) at a function on Thursday night. The Fellowships were presented at a special ceremony at the Clare Street campus of Limerick School of Art & Design on Thursday night attended by over 200 people, including family and friends of the newly appointed Fellows. The other recipients were LIT academic Patricia Burke, former Governing Body Chairman John Clifford, former Acting CEO of the then Tipperary Institute (now operated by LIT as LIT Tipperary) Luke Murtagh and acclaimed artist and graduate of the LIT operated Limerick School of Art & Design John Shinnors. The fellowship is the highest honour the institute can give in recognition of their contribution to education, enterprise, sport, the arts and sciences. Davy has been involved with LIT hurling teams for a number of years and was over their Fitzgibbon Cup winning sides of 2005 and 2007. Dr Maria Hinfelaar said …

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Colin Ryan and Walter Walsh facing off in the first round of the National Hurling League at Cusack Park, Ennis.

Weather could trip up Clare and cats

LONG before Sunday dawns, one of the main items of interest will be where Clare’s opening league match is played. Recent inclement weather has placed a premium on the use of Cusack Park. Last Sunday’s Division 4 National Football League game had to be moved to Miltown Malbay, which will have helped to protect Cusack Park but it will not guarantee its use this weekend. In fact, the pitch itself might be playable but if, for example, the area behind the terraced stand is flooded, that might present a health and safety issue. Hopefully, come the weekend, the weather will be more compliant but if Cusack Park is deemed unplayable, where the game is played will become a matter of some intrigue. When the Waterford Crystal final against Tipperary had to be moved from Sixmilebridge, the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick was the chosen venue. The fact that happened indicates the paucity of top level floodlit playing fields in Clare. However, …

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Shane Brennan under pressure from Paddy Maguirein their Division 4 National Football League game at Miltown Malbay.

Brennan disappointed at home draw

CLARE full-forward Shane Brennan wasn’t initially buoyed at hearing other results in Division 4. Waterford’s draw with Tipperary did Clare no harm, while Antrim’s defeat to Wicklow leaves the Ulster county at the bottom of the basement division. A Clare win would have been a huge boost but a point wasn’t a bad return, although the Royal College of Surgeons student wasn’t in full agreement. “We’re never looking at the other teams’ results. We have to look at ourselves first. We set ourselves a target of winning that game. It’s heartbreaking at the moment that we didn’t but looking at it in the last minute of injury time, we could have it lost. You have to take the positives from it and the whole thing is still in our own hands,” he said. The Clondegad man felt Clare could have utilised the first-half breeze to more telling effect. “We probably should have a few more scores got in the first …

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Cathal O'Connor tries to get past Leitrim's Shane Moran during their Round 2 Division 4 National Football League game at Miltown Malbay.

O’Connor mounts up the air miles for county cause

WHEN the Clare panel dispersed from Miltown, most either stayed in the county or headed for Limerick and Dublin. Cathal O’Connor was the one exception. The Edinburgh-based Coolmeen man set off for Shannon Airport, before landing in eastern Scotland on Sunday night. O’Connor had a steady game beside Gary Brennan in the Clare midfield. However, his final intervention proved quite decisive as he fouled Leitrim’s Paddy Maguire and was issued with a black card. To compound matters, Leitrim captain Emlyn Mulligan tapped over the free that levelled the game. “In fairness I probably did,” the civil engineer replied when asked if he felt he deserved the black card. “Something had to be done. It was going to be a score either way. They say that the black card is going to get rid of cynical fouling but at the end of the day, when push comes to shove, you’re going to do it if you have to do it,” he …

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