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Tag Archives: Ger Loughnane

1997 Clare ‘the most deserving champions of all time’

The Clare team that won the 1997 All-Ireland final will be celebrated in Croke Park this Sunday. Joe Ó Muircheartaigh recalls a success that came at the height of hurling’s Revolution Years when the Banner County shook up the world, on and off the field.   IT’S a cliché to say that hindsight is 20/20 vision, but looking back on things from a remove of 20 years it’s true to say that 1997 was the apex of the Revolution Years – the title of the book written by celebrated hurling commentator Denis Walsh that captured a remarkable decade of change in the game. For a host of reasons, it was always going to be a huge hurling year. For the bluebloods like Tipperary, Cork and Kilkenny who agitated against change because they considered All- Irelands to be their birthright. They wanted to restore the old order. For the new order of Offaly, Clare and Wexford who had won the three …

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When Clare hurlers had an old score to settle with Kilkenny…

Clare have only beaten Kilkenny once in senior championship hurling — it was the year the revered Con Houlihan called the Banner County the most deserving champions of all time, recalls Joe Ó Muircheartaigh from a quarter of a century ago. WHEN JAMESIE O’Connor arced to the left and then off his left fired over the most important point of his hurling career from underneath the old Hogan Stand into the Hill 16 end to win the 1997 All-Ireland it was the cherry topping on a cake that had many tiers. Clare had done what Mick O’Dwyer told Ger Loughnane they had to do when they met at a function down in Cork the previous year — that was to win a second All-Ireland to prove the greatness of the team. A first couldn’t do that, but a second most definitely would. “It can be argued that Clare are the most deserving champions of all time,” wrote Con Houlihan in …

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Loughnane making blood cancer visible

CLARE’S two-time All-Ireland-winning hurling manager, Ger Loughnane launched the Make Blood Cancer Visible initiative this week and spoke about how he suffered acute myeloid leukaemia for a number of months before it was diagnosed. Blood cancers can be extremely difficult to recognise, the Feakle man said. “The problem with it is there are no physical symptoms really, as regards lumps or swelling, or even pain; there’s no pain involved. That’s why the blood cancers are known as the silent killers. The only sign is constant fatigue; fatigue lasting over a long period of time and flu-like symptoms. “That’s what makes it so dangerous. You’re inclined to ignore it and say it’ll go away, that your energy will come back. While all this is happening, your system is getting weaker and weaker. By the time you are diagnosed, your system is very, very weak and that makes the treatment all the more difficult, if your system is that low. That’s where …

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Golden memories of ’95 will never fade

HE spent just 17 minutes on the field in Croke Park on September 3, 1995 and only once hit the ball. Yet that seismic Eamon Taaffe goal, four minutes from time, still resonates in Clare. It was the moment that propelled the county to a first All-Ireland win since 1914, bridging an 81-year gap. The Tubber man was one of that 1995 panel present for Clare County Council’s 20th anniversary civic reception in council headquarters on Monday night. He looks fit and fresh, which indicates why he’s the only one of that panel still playing competitive hurling. “Go handy,” he urged when asked if he had yet reached 41 or thereabouts. “I’m only 40, although I’m not far from 41. I’ll be 41 in February,” Taaffe confirmed. Twenty years after that extraordinary afternoon, which altered the history of Clare hurling forever, Taaffe remembers everything. “I can remember it as if it was yesterday. I can still remember Ger coming to …

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20 years on from All-Ireland hurling victory

IT’S the small things that stick in Anthony Daly’s mind. On Saturday, September 2, 1995, the night before Clare’s first All-Ireland final since 1932, Daly went for a walk through his home village. One last look at the old place before life changed the following afternoon. “Half the village was gone. I went for a walk at about 10 o’clock with a hoodie on me but there was hardly anyone around. The pubs were half empty. Everyone was in Dublin,” Daly recalled, as the 20th anniversary of Clare’s second All-Ireland win closed in. “I stayed at home at my mother’s. My brother (Paschal) was home from England, Lord have mercy on him. He used to come home for all the big games. I went to bed around half eleven and I definitely slept for five hours anyway, I’d say. I was afraid I mightn’t but I nodded off. We had to be up at about half six because the bus …

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’95 All-Ireland, a vivid journey for Marty

TWENTY years ago, September 3, 1995, Marty Morrissey carried out one of the shorter but more dramatic interviews of his career. With Clare were trailing Offaly in the All-Ireland final, he approached a tightly-wound Ger Loughnane as he came back onto the field for the second half. After some preliminaries, the Mullagh man asked the Feakle man, ‘Do you think you’re going to do it?’ With absolutely certainty and burning intensity Loughnane responded “We’re going to do it”. Twenty years on, managers never speak to reporters between the throw-in and the final whistle but, at that time, it happened in virtually every live match at half-time. Marty says he’d like to see it coming back. “I think it’s an awful pity to be honest with you. When there’s hundreds of thousands watching, or millions on All-Ireland final day around the world, every little bit contributes to a unique occasion. It’s something I’d love to see reintroduced, but I have my …

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Loughnane and McDonagh in war of words

AN explosive war of words has broken out between two-time All-Ireland winning manager, Ger Loughnane and Clare GAA County Board chairman, Michael McDonagh. Mr Loughnane has told The Clare Champion that he believes Mr McDonagh’s position as board chairman is “utterly untenable”, while he has also insisted that the Miltown Malbay clubman, who is serving his second term as chairman, is using his GAA role to aid his campaign to seek a Fianna Fáil nomination at this Friday night’s convention in Ennis. Mr McDonagh has denied this suggestion and claims the former Clare manager is setting out to derail his political ambitions. “Comments I have made in my remit as chairman of the county board, during the past fortnight and throughout my tenure, have always been made in the best interests of Clare GAA and in my capacity as chairman only. The suggestion that any comments I have made are self-serving or politically motivated are wrong and appear to me …

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Loughnane adamant that Clare need Podge

DOUBLE All-Ireland winning manager Ger Loughnane is adamant that it’s not too late for Podge Collins to play hurling for Clare before the end of the 2015 campaign. The Sunday Game analyst says that people he meets outside of Clare are “flabbergasted” that the 2013 All-Star and hurler of the year nominee isn’t hurling for the county this year. Collins, who is on the county football team, is available and willing to play hurling for Clare but hurling manager, Davy Fitzgerald has ruled out players fulfilling a dual role. Loughnane also told The Clare Champion that this Clare team must win a second All-Ireland to dispel the belief that they are on the slide and to salvage their “long-term reputations”. Clare didn’t win a championship match in 2014 and were relegated to Division 1B earlier this year, having won just one game from six. Loughnane also bemoaned the absence of Colm Galvin, who has emigrated to the US and believes …

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