‘Half a loaf better than no loaf’

THE different reaction afterwards provides a baromoter of sorts to guage who had gained a point and who had just lost one. A win had its own significance for both sides. Hav- ing already lost to Cork and Wex- ford, Offaly were on the rack, star- ing down the barrel of Division Two hurling next year. A win would keep Clare flying near the summit of the group, a playoff place in sight.

Clare came here expecting two points, but it was John McIntyre who felt disappointed at the end.

“I felt desperately unlucky not to have won the game and I make no apologies for saying that,’ he said. “It’s a big step in the right direc- ney na

There was a different take on it for Clare. Three or four times in the second half, Tony Considine said, he felt as though the game was slipping away from his side.

“I thought at times we’d never get anything out of it. The one thing, sometimes you find out about a team what they’re really made

of and a day like today I think we found out Clare have a lot of charac- ter in them. They fought at the end. They never gave up on the game.”

At times, particularly in the sec- ond half, he re-jigged his forward line and mainly to good effect. Niall Gilligan was brought to the front of his attack then moved in front of the goal, Fergal Lynch was used as a bat- tering ram at centre-froward. Yet the bulk of the re-deployment was done through necessity.

“You swap around and you do things especially when there’s emer- gencies all over the picth. When we made the changes it worked well for us. But all of the lads fought hard and they got their reward. I’d like to have got the win but half a loaf is better than no loaf at all, as they say.”

Clare started with a_ physically strong full-forward line, one that on paper, given the size of the three, was capable of making their presence felt. McIntyre picked up on this from the start.

“Clare had big men. We mightn’t have the height to match them in certain positions

but you’ve got to hand it to Clare. At stages in the second half it looked like they were in big trouble but they hung in at the end. You’ve got to give them credit for that.”

It sets things up neatly for next Sun- day’s clash with Cork. A helping of soup to warm the gut before the real banquet of summer.

“At the end of the day we want to qualify,” says Considine. “We go out to win every game if we can. Clare have lost games before and it wasn’t the end of the world. It’s not going to be the end of the world again.

“We’re trying out things with the team. We’re learning all the time. Next Sunday we’ll learn some more and maybe we’ll learn a bit about Cork as well.”

Learning and discovering. The time to turn toil into victory is ap- proaching.


Cloud with a silver lining

ANOTHER defeat for Clare — three on the bounce after the morale boosting start to the Paidi O Sé reign with victories over Carlow and Lei- trim. Another cloud in a relegation dogfight, but the upbeat mood of the Clare contingent afterwards showed that it had something of a silver lin- ing.

Paidi was positive as he gathered his team around — barking encourag- ing words about commitment, deter- mination, pride in the jersey. Things taken for granted in a county with 34 All-Irelands; questioned after the 13- point drubbing at home at the hands of Monaghan.

Afterwards Vincent O’Connor made similar soundings as he took the players for a warm down. There

was no warm down after the Mona- ghan game — maybe it was because the team didn’t break enough sweat to warrant one.

It was different in O’Connor Park on Sunday. Another precious two points went the other way but Paidi still preached positivity for the fu- ture when fielding questions after the game.

‘“We’re very upbeat after today,’ he said. “We played very well and the lads gave a great account of them- selves. We were unfortunate to lose Frank O’Dea during the course of the day and before the game we hadn’t David Russell available to us. Apart from that we played very well.

“We should have capitalised a bit more with the wind. We’ve only our- selves to blame for that. It’s the sign of good character in a team that can

bounce back against Offaly, up here in Offaly, after the drubbing against Monaghan.

“There was a good bit more fight and while we’re disappointed in the manner in which we lost the game in the end but we’re quite happy with the way we played, just a little bit dis- appointed that we didn’t get a share of the spoils.”

As for the future, Paidi was already looking forward to the game against London this coming Sunday. Lowly London, the cannon fodder of Na- tional League football. Still a big game for Clare insisted Paidi, be- cause he says “every game that Clare play in is a big game. We’re looking forward to it.”

It’s the only thing Clare can do in their desperate attempt to avoid the ignominy of Division 4 football for 2008. That would be worse than the bad old days of Division 3 South.


There’s no excuses

NO excuses. That was the message coming from Clare co-manager Joe Garry after Saturday’s crushing de- feat to Tipperary.

Clare’s poor showing, particularly in the first half, when they leaked three goals was the source of 1m- mense disappointment in a sombre dressing room afterwards.

Clare fans travelled in more expec- tation than hope following the stir- ring quarterfinal victory over Kerry but then watched on in abject frustra- tion as Clare capitulated.

“It was bitterly disappointing. I know that a lot of people travelled down and were very frustrated watching in the stands but if you can imagine that disappointment and multiply it by ten that’s the way it was in the dressing room afterwards. It was no way reflective of the talent that’s in that team. We hadn’t done ourselves a bit of justice. It wasn’t that we underestimated them in any way. If anything we had prepared

more diligently than the Kerry game. We had a free reign in terms of inju- ries, we knew Conor Howley wasn’t going to make it”.

The physical nature adopted by Tipperary certainly upset Clare’s rhythm but Garry said he had no complaints about the robust nature of the contest.

“We have no problems whatsoever with the ref. There’s no excuses, none at all. We were just that bit flat on the day. Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. We made too many mistakes. There was a great bounce around Clare football in the last week or so, and it’s all down to those lads. There’s quite a few of the lads underage for next year, but that’s a poor consolation right now.”


Shoot the stags or lock up your heifers

AN EAST Clare councillor has called for wild deer to be culled, be- fore they start breeding with local cattle.

Cllr Colm Wiley (FF) warned that wild deer had taken to breaking down fences and roaming the roads of the county.

ae Wile Kenic rates through fences and eat- ing acres. of grass. |wenty or 30 deer grazing together can eat an awful lot of grass,’ he told a meeting of Clare County Council last week.

The councillor

has asked that the Minister for Ag- riculture be con- tacted and asked to introduce a programme of culling the deer. Action needs to be taken at an official level, he SrHIGE

The animals are becoming a haz- ard on the roads and causing huge amounts of damage to farmland, the Fianna Fail councillor said.

They are also roaming freely in for- estry plantations and their numbers are increasing at an alarming rate, he Sr AIGE

While hunters might take a small number for the pot, an organised cull is needed, Cllr Wiley said.

“Whether it’s marksmen from the

army or whatever, we need someone to take some of them out. There have been constant complaints and calls for control, but no-one is dealing with it. The deer are gaining ground. Next thing, they’ll be breaking down fences and breeding with the cattle,” Cllr Wiley said, to uproar from the chamber.

Cllr Pat Hayes (FF) said that there was a particular- ly large number of deer in East Ore

“They are a threat to motor- TISLIIE-0 (CMOS) Kom: NKs animal welfare and disease is- sues to be con- sidered. I believe we should deal with it through Duchas, Wale OPW and anyone else involved at a local level,’ he Sr HKGe

Cit Gerry Flynn (Ind) told the meeting that there were wild- life rangers in place, whose job

it was to deal with roaming deer.

ClUlr Brian Meaney (GP) said he

hoped that the message would not go out from the chamber, “that the elected members believe that there is any possibility of a cross-breeding danger between our cattle and the wild deer population.”


Wehrley has one eye on future

CLAIRE Wehrley, a teacher in St Flannan’s College in Ennis, has been appointed manager of this year’s North Munster under 14 team. Wehrley has put together a formi- dable management team, which also includes Eric Nelligan of Limerick and Richard Grimes of St Caimin’s, Shannon. The trio have been suc- cessful in bringing the under 15 inter provincial schools title to Munster in 2005 and 2006 and Wehrley believes

they are capable of delivering the goods once more.

“I have two very capable peo- ple working with me in Richard (Grimes) and Eric (Nelligan). They have coached the Munster under 15 schools team for around 7 years now, and I have been involved for two. It is a good management team. We work well together and have proved that we can be successful.”

Wehrley outlines their aims for the upcoming year, “This year for the under 14s we are hoping to try and

get an insight into the talent that’s out there. There will be talent we will not have been seen before. We want to identify emerging talent, look to de- velop the players, improve them and hopefully start them on a successful career which will eventually lead to inclusion on under 16 and under 18 squads into the future.”

“We would have an idea of some players playing at that level. Howev- er, we know there are so many play- ers out there who we will not have seen before and we want to encour-

age everyone to come along.”

Wehrley was involved in the Gaynor Cup last year and she is grateful for the experience.

“T think Munster will be in with a shout at each age level. Obviously the under 14s is the one I will be con- centrating on and I would fancy our chances, especially when you look at the runner-up spot we achieved last year.”

SUED im s00 Mmre-D amma lH ODUM OO (oMmNITo.€8 two weeks and clubs will be notified within the coming days.


Next stop Mosney

THE Clare Community Games Cross Country U1O relays and U13 1200 metres were held on the lands of John and Brid Collins, Kilnaboy, at the weekend. Ennistymon/Lahi- nch/Liscannor captured the girls U10 4 x 250 metres relay with Killenana/ Flagmount taking the boys title.

Laura Egan, Kilmihil, won the girls U13 cross country with Doora/Bare- field taking the team title and Conor Madigan, Kilrush, a very impressive winner of the boys U13 title. Killane- na/Flagmount took the team award.

The girls U10 4 x 250 metres relay saw five teams going to the finals. Ennistymon/Liscannor/Lahinch came from third spot over the final 50 metres to capture the gold medals from Carrigaholt/Cross with Cloon- ey/Quin taking the bronze.

The boys U10 relay had seven teams on the starting line and at the final change-over Kuillenana/Flagmount had a slight advantage. They held on

to take the gold medals.

The girls U13 1200 metres saw over 40 competitors taking part. There was a good contest with Niamh Markham, Kilmurry McMahon, tak- ing the big field out at a blistering pace. In close pursuit were Orlagh Flanagan, Miltown Malbay, Laura Egan, Kilmihil, Claudia Loughnane, Kilkishen, Shauna Mullane, Corofin/ Kilnaboy, Jean Clancy, Doonbeg, and Meabh Hogan, Doora/Barefield. Into the final lap Flanagan took the lead only to be passed by Egan who ran on to take the win.

The boys U13 1200 metres saw Tadgh Lillis, Cooraclare/Cree, set a very lively pace with Ryan Taylor, Clooney/Quin, David Conroy, Doo- ra/Barefield, Dylan Quirke, Clare- castle/Ballyea, and three Killenana/ Flagmount athletes Padraig Brady, Todd Kelsey, and Martin Glynn all well tucked in behind.

Over the final lap Conor Madigan moved to the front and raced away to AUN O AYA


Sue Garrahy rules the road

THE Munster Athletics Association road championships were held in Dundrum, County Tipperary, over a flat and fast course. Jason Fahy, Ol- ympic Harriers, ran a very big race to take the silver medal in the Munster Novice category and he led Clare to bronze medals in both novice and senior sections.

The masters men were dominating in all sectors and Pat Nugent took a bronze medal in the O40 with Clare taking the silver medals and Tommy Madden, Marian, having a fine run to take the silver medal in the masters O55 and Clare taking the silver med- als in the O55 team.

Sue Garrahy, Kilmurry Ibrickane/

North Clare, took the gold medal in the masters ladies O40 and led Kil- murry Ibrickane/North Clare and Clare to Munster silver medals.

Cushla Murphy WHehir, Marian, who celebrated her 50th birthday on Saturday took the silver medal with Clare taking the silver medals in the inter county awards.

All three ladies races were com- bined. Niamh O’Sullivan, Ruocht, made all the early running and with one mile complete she was well clear of Carmell Parnell, Leevale, Mary Sweeney, St Finbarr’s, with Sue Garrahy settling in well and having a great contest with Breda Barrett, Gneeveguilla, for the masters O40 title.

Marian Burke, St Mary’s, Siobhan

Lennon, Ennis Track, were going very well for the Clare team as Ni- amh O’Sullivan, the overall leader, was gone well clear and she captured this munster title O45 and senior la- dies. The Clare team packed well to take silver medals.

Kilmurry Ibrickane/North Clare also took silver in the inter club.

The masters ladies O50 saw Cushla Murphy Hehir, Marian, produce a fine race to finish 33rd.

The novice ladies inter county awards saw Clare packing well to take silver medals.

The race of the afternoon was the novice, senior and masters mens and this race attracted a big field of ath- Ke KOleeM-VOMOdcmmLY ebelsineie

Alan O’Shea, Bantry, led the field

over the first mile, with Clare ath- letes sticking close behind.

With all races combined O’Shea was in control at the front and at the three mile mark he made a very decisive break and opened up a big lead. He took gold in 19.12mins with the novice title going to Pat McCa- rtan, West Limerick, in 19.53mins. Jason Fahy, Olympic Harriers, came through in second in 20.04mins.

The masters men’s saw Pat Nugent give a good account of himself when taking the bronze medal in the mas- ters O40 field.

The masters O50 saw Michael Harvey, Kilmurry Ibrickane/North GET KCHBED OD ROD tTcme Marlee Vooe-DUmBnemmaents big field and leading Clare to silver medals.


Four miles in Quilty

KILMURRY Ibrickane/North Clare Athletic Club are holding the Michael Egan Memorial four mile open road race and four mile fun walk this Sun- day at Quilty. The walk will start at lpm with the race at 1.30pm.

Changing facilities at the Kilmurry Ibrickane Football Field on the main Kilrush Road will be available for all and presentation of prizes and refreshments will be available in the Quilty Tavern.

The senior men’s race will once again be a very good contest with last years title holder Gerry Ryan, Galway City Harriers, going for three in a row. Seamus Power, Kil- murry [brickane/North Clare, Der- mot Galvin, St John’s, and Brian Maher, Kilkenny City Harriers, will all be in contention for prizes.

Fresh from his European master O50 silver medal in Helsinki, Eu- gene Moynihan, Marian, will bat- tle for the masters title along with

Ger Mullane, Bilboa, Mick and Pat O’Shea, Iveragh, Frank Garrihy, En- nis Track Club, Michael Harvey and Tom Mackey, Kilmurry Ibrickane/ North Clare, Thomas Walsh, Tulla, and Pat Nugent.

The ladies race has always at- tracted a huge entry and once again the individual contest could throw up a surprise. Veronica Colleran, Ennis Track Club, will take some beating along with Tracy Guilfoyle, Kilnaboy.

Others in the running will be Josephine Macken, Mayo, Marion O’Loughlin, Ennis Track Club, Sue Garrahy, Kilmurry Ibrickane/ North Clare, and Margaret Ryan, Kilnaboy.


€60m housing plan approved

CLARE County Council has set aside warnings from one of its execu- tive engineers against a €60m hous- ing development in Clarecastle.

The engineer had pointed to fears that water shortages in the area could temporarily shut down the Roche Ire- land plant. An Taisce also objected to the scheme.

However, the council last week granted planning permission to Sean Lyne and Noel Connellan for 244 residential units on a 25-acre site on the Kildysart Road outside Clarecas- ate

The two undertook to upgrade the infrastructure in the area. Work will not start on the project until the two businessmen construct a temporary waste water treatment facility.

An internal memo released with the decision on Friday revealed that Executive Engineer, Sean Considine stated last July that “developments like the one proposed cannot be al- lowed to proceed with the ongoing scenario present”.

Mr Considine had received a phonecall from Pat O’Shea at Roche Ireland that day over the inadequate water supply for the plant.

The inadequate supply, according to Mr Considine, “could have serious consequences as the factory could be temporarily closed down by morn-


Mr Considine said, “The water supply in the Clarecastle area is very insufficient and has been for some years now…the water received at the moment for Clarecastle equates only to the equivalent usage of five years ago and this is clearly not adequate to sustain current development, nev- er mind future development.”

In its submission, An Taisce stat- ed, “This very dense development is premature as neither of the pub- lic services are at present or in the near future able to supply these new OMe bbe reace

“The water is undrinkable and a new system is being proposed but will not be ready in time for this de- velopment and the sewerage is vastly overloaded. We strongly recommend that this is either delayed or with- drawn until the services are adequate or at least planned to be adequate.”

In a letter to the council, a consult- ant for the two businessmen agreed to the development of a temporary waste water treatment plant at Clare- abbey.

The letter states, “Ennis Town En- gineer, Tom Tiernan has confirmed that there has been a significant delay in procuring the new plant at Clarea- bbey, which was due to start in 2005. It is estimated that, at a minimum, the works will not be completed for at least three to five years.”


Make your village the jewel of Europe

RURAL communities in Clare are being offered a chance to win a new EU Competition valued at €50,000. Shannon Development, in partner- ship with Failte Ireland, is promot- ing a new EU competition, the Eu- ropean Destinations of Excellence, to identify the Best Emerging Rural Tourism Destination in each of the Member States.

The competition is open to any town, district, village or area in Ireland with a population of up to 10,000. Entrants must represent an area which has defined geographic boundaries, is primarily rural, but can include urban areas, and must have undertaken tangible marketing activity promoting approved opera- tors.

The winning destination in Ireland will receive a prize valued at an es- timated €50,000 which includes an

energy and waste audit, an energy and waste management plan, a three- year marketing plan and a DVD of the destination.

The winner in each member state will have their area promoted on the international stage.

“This is a unique opportunity for communities around County Clare and the Shannon Region to compete for a major award which will not only enhance the physical infrastructure of their community, but also supple- ment promotional efforts,” says John Quinlivan, Shannon Development, Regional Development Manager- Orie

Full competition details and an ap- plication form are available at www. — or or call Siobhan King Clare Tourism Of- ficer, Shannon Development, at 065 6895004. The closing date for appli- cations is Friday, April 13.