Without being too dramatic, the old adage about the mighty oaks and the little acorns springs to mind when considering the decision of Clare’s GAA clubs to back a strategic review over the next five years.
The enthusiasm in which this whole project has been approached by Eire Óg’s Niall O’Connor, and the Ennis club as a whole, simply cannot be commended enough.
The executive of Clare GAA also deserve the highest of praise for the manner in which they gave their backing to the move, with Jack Chaplin opening his tenure in the chairman’s seat by firmly placing support behind the motion. It had been a week where the national spotlight shone on the county, but in the face of that pressure, the Cratloe man and his officers must be given praise for how they conducted their business.
Even the most optimistic of Clare GAA people will find it hard to deny that while there have been some incredible days for the saffron and blue on the field over the last decade, there is no doubting that there should have been more. Off the field, it has often been a myriad of half truths and mistrust, but the assertion from the new board chairman that the focus is on the future is a notion that we can all row in behind.
That being said, it is worth noting that this review, which is to be carried out by some of the highest caliber people in the county, is one that is long overdue. Now, an outside group with no vested interests will hold the mirror firmly in the face of the entire association and from there, the healing process can begin, but only if no obstacles are placed in their way. The problems are there for all to see, but the focus must now turn to finding the solutions and keeping the bigger picture in mind.
This is a time for unity and a clarity of purpose, but it must be forthcoming from all parties concerned.