Portlaoise hadn’t the bottle

MICHAEL O’ Dwyer got the man-of- the-match gong; Noel Downes was top scorer and between them they hit 1-5; Stephen Moloney, meanwhile, didn’t score at all, but was the other stand-out figure in the forwards.

That he turned in such a energetic running performance — his best since the Munster quarter-final against Dromcollogher-Broadford was re- markable, given his injury-hit prepa- ele (eyee

“My fitness ran out for a finish,” he admits, “because I hurt my hip the week after the Tir Chonaill Gaels game and my first night training was last Thursday night, so there wasn’t much in the tank, but there was enough for me to last that long.”

By then Kilmurry were on the highroad — off the N67 that runs by the football field in Quilty and on the N7 that leads all the way to Dublin,

a destination that Moloney says was always going to be theirs.

“Everything was good in the camp; the mood was good and Declan Call- inan’s suspension really fired us up more. He was the last man that spoke in the dressing room and to see a man crying before you in the dress- ing room puts the hair standing on the back of your head.

“Portlaoise felt that at the start of the game. Whatever Portlaoise might do we knew we had to stick to our running game. We’ve been relying on our backs since the first round of the Clare championship last year, but we finally gave them a performance KOO hs

“We knew we could beat them. We looked at their results. They’d put up big scores — scores like 2-12 and 2-10 and we knew they weren’t going to do that against our backs. Our backs are too good for that and weren’t go- ing to concede a big score.

‘And Portlaoise hadn’t been in bat- tles like we had. That game over in England was some battle. It was the toughest match we’ve ever played and we knew that they hadn’t that done and it showed today, that game against Tir Chonaill Gaels and what we got out of it really showed. They hadn’t the bottle. They didn’t want to battle like we did to win the All-Ire- land semi-final.”

It means Moloney is one of half a dozen or so who will be back in OO AGIA KEM mobaa note with a Féile na nOg team. “Back then I never thought I’d be back in Croke Park. It’s a long time coming but it’s great to be back with a lot of those same boys. It’s unbelievable really.”


June date for Tour de Burren

MINISTER for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Ea- mon Ryan, joined cycling legend Sean Kelly, and his daughter Stacey for an early morning bike ride to offi- cially launch the 2010 An Post Cycle Series, with Clare one of participat- ing counties in what is a joint initia- tive with the Irish Sports Council.

The series aims to encourage com- munities around the country to get on their bikes. With routes catering for everyone from the serious ama- teur to families, the series has proven to be a great way for family, friends and work colleagues to spend a day of fun together while the serious rider can choose a more challenging KO) b Ken

Clare is one of the five counties (Sligo, Meath, Waterford and Cork being the others) that has been se- lected as regional hosts for the An Post Cycle Series events, which run monthly between May and Septem- ber 2010. Each event is organised by the Irish Sports Council’s Local Sports Partnerships in conjunction with their city, county and cycling club partners. The Tour de Burren will feature a 10k family loop as well as a 60k challenge and the 160k a SIUNSFNDeM > IbuRo) te

This is the second year of the se- ries, which were a huge success in year one, with over 5,500 riders taking part last year. The series is a welcome addition to the cycling cal- endar and this year has the additional support of Cycling Ireland.

“T congratulate all those involved

on the great work they have done so far and I’m positive that the Cycle Series will inspire many more people to ‘get on their bike’. It is an annual event that will undoubtedly go from strength to strength.” Minister Ryan added.

This year’s Cycle Series ambassa- dor is former world number one cy- clist Sean Kelly, who will be taking part in the Clare Tour. “I’m delighted to be an ambassador for this year’s series. The events are unique in that they offer something to every type of cyclist, from beginners and families to the more serious and dedicated enthusiast. On a personal note, I’m really looking forward to getting the series underway in Sligo in May, and

as far as a challenge goes I’m looking no further than the “Burnin Burren’ in Clare.”

The An Post Series gets underway on Sunday, May 9, with the An Post Tour of Sligo. This will be followed by the An Post Tour De Burren in Clare on Saturday, June 19, while the Heritage Cycle Tour of Meath will take place on Sunday, July 25. The already well known Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford event will be on Sun- day, August 29, and finally the Rebel Tour of Cork will be on Saturday, September 11.


Magpies get cup run off to a flyer

IT WAS hardly an ideal night for the Opening round of the Cusack Cup. The obvious benefit of lights was in stark contrast to an icy chill that swirled around Cooraclare on Satur- day that saw only the hardcore sup- porters man the stand. That said, it wasn’t the only contrast on the night as a much sharper Doonbeg simply had too much for a ringrusty Liscan- nor outfit.

From this performance alone, it 1s easy to see why the Magpies are per- ennially in the shake up for Cusack Cup honours. They approach the league with a typically champion- ship zest while Liscannor appeared to be simply blowing off the cobwebs of the new year.

The statistics reflect a relatively even share of possession but it was the use of the ball as well as move- ment off it that essentially dictated the outcome and in that count, Doon- beg just had far more options, espe- cially up front.

The respective panels also had a bearing on the game as the dismiss- als of Doonbeg’s Colm Dillon and Liscannor’s Shane Canavan were significant for both sides. Up to that point, Dillon was controlling the

midfield sector but their superior strength in depth ensured that substi- tute Paul Hehir took up where Dillon left off as Doonbeg saw out the win.

The game was only two minutes old when Doonbeg had the ball in Liscan- nor’s net as David Tubridy slipped a ball through to the unmarked Shane Ryan to drill a ground shot past goal- keeper Noel Kilmartin.

Liscannor’s response was immedi- ate as Kieran Considine pointed a free resulting from the kick-out but far from rallying, Liscannor were simply too wasteful. Jamie Whelan restored Doonbeg’s goal lead only two minutes later and after a ten minute period of Liscannor pressure yielded nothing, the Magpies finally got to grips with the tie to open up a decisive advantage.

Four points in as many minutes fol- lowed as Doonbeg laid siege to the Liscannor half, with Colm Dillon in particular having a hand in almost every attack. Two impressive long range strikes from Dillon, added to by points from Whelan and Shane O’Brien pushed the leaders 1-5 to 0-1 clear by the 21st minute. David Tu- bridy opened his account in the 28th minute but there was a mini-revival from Liscannor until the break.

Points from Alan Clohessy and

Thomas McDonagh gave them re- newed hope for the second period and although Doonbeg’s Shane Ryan opened the scoring, the sendings off were to briefly alter the course of the game once more. As the ball moved up the other end of the field, Dillon and Canavan got mixed up in some afters that possibly deserved only yellows but after consulting with his umpire, referee Michael Talty adopt- ed a zero tolerance approach.

Two Kieran Considine frees saw Liscannor slowly creep back into the game and once Alan Clohessy set up corner-forward Paul Guerin for an- other at the turn of the final quarter, the deficit was now down to four.

Doonbeg didn’t panic though and pushing half-time substitute Paul Hehir back into midfield as well as introducing Brian Dillon, they re- gained control of the game. Liscan- nor attempted to push forward but with Enda Doyle, Conor Whelan and Paraic Aherne constantly counter-at- tacking, they were soon on the back- foot.

Tubridy converted a free in the 48th minute to settle his side but his next contribution was to seal the win as Doonbeg produced the best move of the game to secure a second goal. It was Doyle again that initiated it,

bursting forward before playing a ball over the top for Jamie Whelan who in turn fed the onrushing Tu- bridy to place the ball to the bottom corner of the net.

There was still time for a peach of a point from Hehir but by that stage, Liscannor had accepted their fate as Doonbeg crank up for another tilt at a title that has somehow eluded them in recent years.


Cooraclare give Kilkee blues

DEFENDING champions Coora- clare had a perfect start to 2010 with an impressive victory on Saturday afternoon.

It was cold and bitter, but some of Cooraclare’s football was very hot as a first-half blitz in which they built up a 1-7 to 0-3 lead was the founda- tion for this winning start.

When they extended their advan- tage to 2-11 to 0-3 midway through the second-half, Kilkee’s race was run, even if they finally roused them- selves in the last quarter to give the electronic scoreboard some sem- blance of respectability from their point of view.

Remarkably, given what would unfold it was Kilkee who opened the scoring after less than a minute through countyman Gearoid Lynch, but essentially that was as good as it got for the Blues, even though after 15 minutes the match stood at 0-3 apiece after some fine scores on el- ther side.

But the second quarter belonged to Cooraclare as they tacked on 1-4 to wrestle control of proceedings. First there was a hat-trick of points from John Looney (2) and Cathal Lillis on the mark — then came the crucial goal in the 25th minute.

The anger and frustration of all Kilkee commenced when they felt Gearoid Lynch was clearly pushed in

the back as he was ready to unleash a goal bound effort from inside the Cooraclare square.

However, the referee waved play on as the ball petered out for a goal kick. From the resulting kick out Cooraclare worked their goal, the final flick coming from full-forward Michael Kelly that was parried away by Kevin Harte, only for one of the umpires to rule that the ball had crossed the line.

There were howls of protest from the shed and on the field, but the goal stood as Cooraclare led by seven points at the break.

Kilkee needed a fast start to the

second-half to have any chance but it was Cooraclare who took up where they left off, adding 1-5 in the first 15 minutes, with the second goal from Michael McMahon.

It must be said that Kilkee were their own worst enemies — they were concentrating more on the referee than on trying to drag themselves back into the contest.

It was only when their attitude changed that their fortunes took an upward turn.

They found their purple patch and suddenly a miraculous comeback was on the cards. Two goals in quick succession by Dennis Russell and the

excellent Kevin Larkin illustrated that there was still hope.

Larkin full of confidence then fol- lowed up with two wonderful long range points only partly neutralised by Looney’s sixth free of the hour. Full-back Brendan Smith burst for- ward from defence to make it a six point game with six minutes remain- ing.

It was as close as they got, how- Vole


SPR Ree tere Omri (GKO) OY

AGAIN, another game that slipped away from Clare inside the final ten minutes, the third of the league. Hav- ing considered themselves unlucky to come away from Down last week- end with a draw after a late, late point from the home side, Clare sensed that Tipperary at home was an opportuni- ty to get their first win and their first three points of the season.

In the end, though, Tipperary pulled away with three points in the closing four minutes and this, essen- tially, was the difference between the sides.

As a whole, the crowd in Meelick was treated to an entertaining and open afternoon of football. Play, particularly in the first-half, weaved from end to end and at the break, GENK crim bomr-i oLeyDeLMneO), sem ouiMmy alan plenty of reason to be hopeful for the remaining half an hour.

Against an impressive full-forward line, Lorraine Kelly stood firm while further out the field, Louise Henchy dropped deep and foraged well, Marie Considine mopped up around the middle while Eimear Considine showed some glimpses of what she is capable of, before stamping her mark on the game in the second-half.

At the other end, Mairead Mor- rissey was giving the Clare defence plenty to think about and she dom1- nated the opening exchanges, but after 11 minutes, Niamh Keane sent a long range shot towards the posts which nestled over Nora Noonan’s head and into the Tipperary net.

With their opening score, Clare led for the first time in the game.

Tipperary then had a fantastic op- portunity to reply with a goal of their own, but Emma O’Driscoll saved brilliantly, diving to her right, to deny Barbara Ryan.

After a couple of points from Mor- rissey and the speedy Gillian O’Brien, Clare forged back after a point from Sinead Sexton. She caught a high pass from Considine over her head,

swiveled and split the posts.

Morrissey, O’Brien and Ann Marie O’Gorman responded before Eimear Considine slalomed through the Tip- perary defence with a 40-yard run and a fine point.

Just after the break Considine kicked two further scores and gave Clare a one-point lead. After Morris- sey equalled things once more, Aine Kelly responded for Clare to restore their slender lead.

The game was now in the bal- ance and the opening six minutes of the half had been sprinkled with some fine play and some well-taken

oO) Kee

Then, however, Tipperary struck.

Morrissey fed O’Brien, who used he pace to place her in a dangerous position in front of the goal, she shot and the net rattled. Tipperary now led by two, 1-8 to 1-6.

After a pulsating start to the half, a lockdown ensued and 14 minutes passed before the next score, Eimear Considine converting a Clare free.

Now, Clare needed the next score but Patricia Hickey kicked two Tip- perary frees in as many minutes and with two minutes on the clock, Tipp lead by three.

Clare battled on and Louise Henchy managed a point in injury-time. Claire Carroll responded for Tipper- ary and ultimately, Clare failed to threaten the opposition goal in the last five minutes.

Putting things in perspective, trainer David O’Brien said he was disappointed with the result on Sun- day but pleased with the perform- ance.

“The last time we played Tipper- ary they were physically stronger than us, they blew us out of the way, so I was pleased that didn’t happen. We stood up and were counted and

brought the game to them.”

However, he said that getting results still remains the aim.

‘There’s plenty still to play for. Two wins should keep us safe, three can get you to a semi final. So it’s still wide open. We need to put results with performances now.”

Bearing in mind the Clare will play Tipperary in the first round of Munster, O’Brien added that he was looking forward to that game.

“I think we didn’t find out a lot about them that we didn’t already know. If anything, Tipp will have found out more about ourselves. They’ ll know that we won’t stand back, that we’ll battle. That puts us in a good position.”

He added that the more recent additions to the panel had equipped themselves well.

“I’m happy to see the newer play- ers settle in, that they’re hungry for football and hungry for games.

‘Our fitness and sharpness is definitely improving, but now, it’s

results we want.”


Search to commence for W WLI silver

THE largest treasure hunt ever to take place in the waters off County Clare will get underway this week as the search begins for more than €100 million worth of silver sunk during World War II.

Odyssey Marine Exploration was last week awarded the exclusive salvage contract for the cargo of SS Gairsoppa, which was sunk by a German U-boat in February of ee

The SS Gairsoppa was a British cargo steamer enlisted in the serv-

ice of the UK for the ministry of war transport during World War II. In February 1941 the steamer was on its way from India to Britain with a cargo of silver ingots, pig iron and tea when it began to run out of fuel off the coast of Ireland.

The steamer broke off from the convoy it was travelling in and made for Galway harbour where it could refuel. However, on February 17, the ship was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-101.

The steamer sank completely with- in 20 minutes. Of the 32 crew mem- bers who boarded lifeboats after the

attack, all died except for one sailor who made it ashore after 13 days at sea.

The exact location of the wreck is not known but it is believed to be around 200 miles off the Clare coast, at a depth of around 6,500 feet.

The UK Department for Transport last week awarded the salvage rights for the wreck to the American deep- ocean shipwreck exploration com- pany, Odyssey Marine Exploration.

Company CEO Greg Stemm last week said that by using modern search techniques they should be able to find the wreck in less than

three months.

“The shipwreck is lying in the deep ocean well within the range of current search and recovery ca- pabilities. We have good location information which suggests a search area that can be completed in ap- proximately 90 days,” he said.

The SS Gairsoppa, also known as the War Roebuck, was carrying 81 crew members and two gunners id sles Lect BO e

Of the entire crew, which was made up mostly of Scottish and Indian sailors, only one crewman – Gerald SAE TiCmen ea sa (cee


Funds disappear down arts hole

ARTISTIC funding in Clare has been dramatically cut over the last three years, with figures just released by the Arts Council indicating a 15 per cent drop in funding for major projects in just two years.

The largest single drop was in the funding that the Arts Council gave to Clare County Council for the sup-

port of local artists which fell from €115,000 in 2008 to just €87,000 this year.

The four main Clare organisations funded by the Arts Council – Clare County Council, Glor, the Willie Clancy Summer School, and Salmon Poetry – saw a combined funding of €352,000 in 2008 drop to €332,000 in 2009 and €302,000 for this year.

Despite these drops, worse news

is likely to come when the funding for smaller individual organisations or projects 1s confirmed later in the year.

In 2008, Arts Council funding for Clare projects through the Bursary Awards, Commissions and the Deis Award Scheme totalled more than €150,000. Funding under the same three schemes for 2009 totalled just €25,500 for Clare groups last year,

with a further cut likely to be en- forced this year.

Despite these cuts, the chairman of the Arts Council, Pat Moylan, was largely upbeat about the prospects of Clare artists in the year ahead.

‘The council sought to ensure that organisations continue to bring the best of the arts to audiences across Ireland,” he said.

“The council prioritised regional balance, where key venues and festi- vals have been supported to produce the best of the arts for people right across the country. In addition, the Arts Council has established a new fund for touring; this will extend the life of productions, exhibitions and performances, and ensure more peo- ple experience the arts in 2010.”

A total of €307,000 in funding for Clare projects was announced by the Arts Council last week.

This funding was awarded to Glor (€90,000), Clare County Council (€87,000), the Willie Clancy Sum- mer School (€85,000), Salmon Poet- ry (€40,000) and the Irish Pipe Band Association (€5,000).

Besides cuts to its Arts Council funding, Glor has also seen a sizable cut in the amount of money being given to the centre by Clare and En- nis County Councils. The venue will receive €47,000 less in funding from the local authorities in 2010 than it did in 2009.


Nonie still in good voice at 100

SEVEN children, 26 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren and one great great grandchild joined Nonie Lynch in the celebration of her 100 birthday CPN UBC MEO UTM ONLO)ILNO

Born on February 5, 1910, Nonie has seen more than her fair share of changes throughout her life. Formerly Comerford, she moved to Cloghan- more, in the shadow of Mount Cal- lan, in the 1700s.

The youngest of 12 children, Nora or Nonie Comerford was born to R1- chard Crawford and his wife Mary Linehan. When she was old enough, Nonie attended Letterkelly National School and was a child during the war of independence and the civil ene

Indeed, Nonie was 10 years old when the Rineen ambush took place in 1920. Less than a month later her eldest brother John was killed in an ambush in Four Mile House in Ros- common.

As the youngest child it fell to No- nie to stay home and look after here parents. Her mother, Mary, died in 1929 ages 66 while her father Rich- ard passed away the following year lion Ap

Like so many on the early years of the state the Comerford family has hit be emigration. First to go was No- nie’s sister Nellie who moved to New York where she was later joined by brothers Pat and Dan.

In 1942 Nonie emigrated herself, this time down the road to Kilmurry Ibrickane where she married Paddy Lynch. They made a happy life to- gether for 47 years and had seven children; Jim, Joe , Matt, Mary, Ter- esa, Claire and Patrick.

Her eighties brought a new lease of life to Nonie who, prompted by her friend Nell Gleeson, she began to sing the old songs of her youth.

She quickly became a regular on Sunday nights at Gleeson’s where the songs included The Galway Shawl, The Tri-Coloured Ribbon and The Flag of Sinn Fein became the order of each evening.

The late Tom Munnelly soon be- came aware of Nonie’s talents and recorded her for the National Folk- lore Library at UCD. These record- ings led to Nonie being featured in the prestigious Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing in 2002.

She also became a star of the Clare Festival of Traditional Singers which took place in Ennistymon and in

Spanish Point.

Nonie was joined by scores of friends and family members to cel- ebrate one hundred years last week.


Voting lines are open – pick your group

THREE north Clare community groups are battling it out to see who will claim the lion’s share of €10,000 in local funding as part of the AIB Better Ireland Programme.

The Ennistymon After School Club, Liscannor Child Care Services and the Ennistymon Vocational School’s Young Men’s Group are each look- ing for local people to vote for their chosen charity.

The Ennistymon branch of the AIB will share out €10,000 between the three shortlisted projects, with first place receiving €5,000, second place €3,000 and third place €2,000.

Local people now have the chance to vote on who should get the major- ity of the funding. Between now and March 15, north Clare people can text their vote or vote online and help de- cide which project will finish on top.

The Ennistymon After School Club has been organised by Scoil Mhainchin, to provide children from disadvantaged areas with fun, edu- cational after-school care. Approxi- mately 15 children are benefitting each week from being involved in the After School Club.

The project’s aim is to give children aged between eight and 13 something to do from 2.40pm until 6pm each day that promotes learning, physi- cal activity and well-being and keeps them off the streets and in school.To vote for the Ennistymon After School Club, just text ENNISTY A to 51303.

Liscannor Childcare Services 1s a not-for-profit organisation set up more than 13 years ago to supply affordable childcare for local peo- ple. The centre currently has 15 pre- school children and 12 after-school students on its books and will use any money it receives to purchase

essential office equipment and plant flowers in their garden for the chil- dren to enjoy. To vote for the Liscan- nor Childcare Service, just text EN- NISTY B to 51303.

Finally, the Ennistymon Vocational School’s Young Men’s Group was established in September of 2009

to support local young men in mak- ing all the decisions that they face in life. It is a supportive peer group that meets on a weekly basis and the group is facilitated by two members of staff from the school. To vote for the group, you can simply text EN- NISTY C to 51303.


Pancakes make the world a batter place

PANCAKE madness was in the air at Clonmoney National School on Tuesday last as the 125 students geared up to make their way through as many pancakes as they could pos- sibly eat.

Ann Cawley, parent of Gregory Murphy who is making his first Holy Communion this year, organised to sell pancakes in her son’s national school in aid of the Haiti earthquake CK itoe

Ann, owner of The Peaberry Green

café in Quin, baked over 150 pan- cakes in her café, sprinkled with de- licious chocolate spread, mouth wa- tering maple syrup and castor sugar.

The pancakes were on sale in a classroom at the school and sold quickly, with all donations going to a Haiti fund to help save lives and pay for food for the victims of the earth- quake.

Yvonne Enright, secretary of Clon- money school, said, “People were able to make any donation at all for the pancakes, it could have been €1 0) )'(5) 0 ee Oe

The principal, Benedicta Mclvoy, and the students of Clonmoney are not shy in helping people in need. The school previously held a cake sale to raise funds for The Apostolic Soci- ety and raised a significant amount of money for the organisation.

Prior to the big day, the children were busy making pictures and post- ers promoting the pancake day to help injured and sick people who suffered in the Haiti earthquake.

“The children were really looking forward to the pancake day. They were really excited,” said Ms Enright.

The amount raised has yet to be to- taled but undoubtedly the proceeds of the pancakes sold will make some difference to the lives of the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

Ann Cawley and Clonmoney Na- tional School would like to acknowl- edge all parents, teachers, staff and students involved for their help in raising funds for the victims of the Haiti earthquake.