The Clare County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) (Irish: Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Coiste Contae an Chláir) or Clare GAA is one of the 32 county boards of the GAA in Ireland, and is responsible for Gaelic games in County Clare. Clare plays its home games at Cusack Park in Ennis.
|Irish:||An Clár CLG|
|Ground(s):||Cusack Park, Ennis|
|County colours:||Saffron and blue|
|Football Championship:||Sam Maguire Cup|
|Hurling Championship:||Liam MacCarthy Cup|
|Ladies' Gaelic football:||Brendan Martin Cup|
The county hurling team competes in the Munster championship which it has won six times, most recently in 1998. Clare has won the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship four times in its history. The county won its first title in 1914 and it took another 81 years for them to win their next title in 1995, which remains the record wait for a successive title in Senior Championship history. Clare won its most recent two titles in 1997 and 2013. Clare competes in Division 1 of the National Hurling League.
Pat Fitzgerald has been county secretary since June 1990. He is one of the longest serving administrators in the province of Munster. Initially in the role in a voluntary capacity, he was offered his first full-time contract in 2009 and a second one in 2016. Fitzgerald is with the Sixmilebridge club. He is the father of Davy Fitzgerald, the former hurler and manager of the Clare senior hurlers. A Garda investigation was established into claims that Fitzgerald was being abused on social media. Fitzgerald mentioned it in his 2019 annual report.
Named after the founder of the GAA, Michael Cusack, the ground had an original capacity of about 28,000 (mostly terraced), but following a 2011 safety review, the certified capacity was reduced to 14,864. Three sides of the ground are terraced - the two areas behind the goals and one terraced length of the pitch which is also covered.
In 2006 there were media reports of substantial offers from property developers to buy the stadium and relocate it to a new 42,000 capacity site outside the town centre. However by 2009 it appeared unlikely given the recent Celtic Tiger crash that this would happen. Between 2009-12, Clare GAA invested over €500,000 in refurbishment works including pitch drainage and fencing around the pitch. In 2015 a major renovation started, this included the demolition and re-erection of the main stand and construction of a new entrance/exit at the north side of the stadium. Once completed in late 2017 the official capacity was increased to 19,000 people for the start of the 2018 season.
Clare have won six Munster SHCs and four All-Ireland SHCs.
In 1889, Clare won their first provincial title after receiving a walkover from Kerry in the final. Clare contested the All-Ireland final, but lost to Dublin 5–1 to 1–6. 1914 saw Clare claim another Munster title when they beat Cork by 3–2 to 3–1. Clare then defeated Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final by 6–6 to 0–0 to reach the All-Ireland final for the first time their history. In the final Clare beat Laois by 2–4 to 1–2 and Amby Power became the first man to captain Clare to an All-Ireland hurling title. In 1932, Clare captured another provincial title, defeating Cork on a scoreline of 5–2 to 4–1. They went on to contest the All-Ireland final, but lost to Kilkenny by 3–3 to 2–3.
After losing Munster finals in 1993 and 1994, Len Gaynor was replaced as manager by Ger Loughnane. Clare made a return to the provincial decider in 1995 after a 2–13 to 3–9 victory over Cork in the semi-final. In the final minutes of the game, Cork were leading by two points when Clare earned a sideline which was taken by Fergie Tuohy. It travelled to the edge of the square, where Ollie Baker doubled on the sliotar, scoring a goal, to put Clare through. In the final, Clare faced Limerick. Clare dominated the game and ran out easy victors by 1–17 to 0–11. This was Clare's first Munster title in 63 years. In the All-Ireland semi-final, Clare played Galway. 2–1 from Ger O'Loughlin and 0–7 from Jamesie O'Connor saw Clare account for the tribesmen by 3–12 to 1–13. Offaly, reigning All-Ireland champions, awaited Clare in the final. In the second half, an Anthony Daly free rebounded off the post and fell to Eamonn Taaffe at the edge of the square, who sent the ball crashing to the back of the Offaly net. Clare ran out 1–13 to 2–8 victors. In 1997, Clare defeated Kerry and Cork to qualify for the Munster final against Tipperary. The match was held in Cork and Clare edged a tight affair by 1–18 to 0–18. Clare defeated Kilkenny by 1–17 to 1–13 in the All-Ireland semi-final. In the subsequent All-Ireland final, Clare were faced by Tipperary who went through the back door to reach the final. A late Tipperary goal saw the Premier County take lead but the teams were tied at 2–13 to 0–19 entering the closing stages. Jamesie O'Connor then scored a point to win Clare the All-Ireland. He finished the match with 0–7 and his outstanding performances throughout the year would see him win the Hurler of the Year award.
In 1998, Clare retained the Munster title. Clare defeated Cork by 0–21 to 0–13 to qualify for the final where they faced Waterford. A late goal from a Paul Flynn free tied the games at 1–16 to 3–10 and sent the match to a replay. Clare won out 2–16 to 0–10 winners. In the semi-final of the All-Ireland Clare faced Offaly. The game ended a draw, 1–13 apiece. In the replay Clare were leading in the closing stages by 2–10 to 1–16; however the referee accidentally blew the match up early. When the whistle blew there was disarray in Croke Park as the disgruntled Offaly supporters began a sit-down protest on the pitch. As the game hadn't been completed to 70 minutes, the semi-final had to be replayed. On this occasion, Offaly won out by 0–16 to 0–13.
In 2012, Davy Fitzgerald began his tenure as Clare manager. At the time Clare had fallen down the game's pecking order, having not won a championship match since 2008 and they were also in the second tier of the Hurling League. Clare won Division 1B of the league to gain promotion for the following year. In the Munster Championship, Clare lost to Waterford by 2–17 to 1–18. Clare then faced Dublin in a Qualifier. In what was Tony Kelly's first senior game for the county, he scored 1–2 to help Clare win by 1–16 to 0–16. In the next round Limerick beat Clare by 3–18 to 1–20. In 2013, Clare won their Munster Quarter-Final against Waterford by 2-20 to 1-15, outscoring them by 2–12 to 0–6 in the second half. This was Clare's first win in Munster since 2008. In the semi-final, Clare lost to Cork by 0–23 to 0–15. Clare then beat Laois and Wexford in the qualifiers. This put Clare in the All-Ireland quarter-final where they beat Galway by 1–23 to 2–14. Munster Champions Limerick awaited Clare in the semi-final. An early Darach Honan goal helped Clare win out by 1–22 to 0–18 and qualify for their first final since 2002. The All-Ireland final was held on 8 September and Clare were leading at half time. In the second half Cork scored three goals to get back into the game. With the sides level, Patrick Horgan scored to put Cork in the lead. Moments later, in injury-time, Domhnall O'Donovan pointed to send the game to a replay. Full-time score: 3–16 to 0–25. On 28 September 2013, Clare won the replay by 5–16 to 3–16. Shane O'Donnell scored 3–3 to help Clare to victory. A Conor McGrath goal in the 61st minute was quickly followed by three points to put Clare 4–16 to 2–16 ahead. A late Stephen Moylan goal was cancelled out by a Darach Honan goal to see Clare win by 5–16 to 3–16. Clare's centre-forward, Tony Kelly, was awarded the Young Hurler of the Year and Hurler of the Year awards.
Camogie was established by County Secretary, Mick Hennessy, of Clooney in 1934. Peggy Nagle of Ennistymon and Sheila Carroll of Lahinch revived the game in 1958. Under Camogie's National Development Plan 2010-2015, "Our Game, Our Passion", five new camogie clubs were to be established in the county by 2015.
Clare have the following achievements in camogie.
Clare have won two Munster SFCs. They compete in Division 2 of the National Football League.
Clare won their first Munster Senior Football Championship in 1917, defeating Cork on a scoreline of 5–4 to 0–1. This was after losing deciders in 1912 and 1915 to Kerry and in 1916 to Cork. Clare were then faced by Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final and emerged victorious by 2–1 to 0–5. However, in that year's All-Ireland Final, Clare were narrowly defeated by Wexford on a scoreline of 0–9 to 0–5. Wexford had won the All-Ireland in 1915 and 1916 and would complete a four in-a-row in 1918. A low point for the football team was the Milltown Massacre in 1979. During a game played in Milltown Malbay the Clare team lost to Kerry by a scoreline of 1–9 to 9–21, a difference of 36 points. Clare football's greatest day since arrived in 1992 when, under the stewardship of John Maughan of Mayo, they won their second Munster Senior Football Championship by beating Kerry in the final in the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick by 2–10 to 0–12. This victory was aided in no small part by two second half goals from Colm Clancy and Martin Daly. This victory was also historic in that it is the only year between 1936 to 2020 that neither Kerry nor Cork were crowned Munster champions. Clare's luck would run out however, and in the All-Ireland Semi-final, they went down to Dublin on a scoreline of 3–14 to 2–12. Full back on the team of 1992 was Seamus Clancy, brother of full-forward Colm, and he was rewarded for his performances in the 1992 championship with a place on the All-Star team of that year.
Clare have the following achievements.
- All-Ireland Championship
- All-Ireland Junior Ladies' Football Championship: 2
- 1991, 1996
- All-Ireland Intermediate Ladies' Football Championship: 3
- 1991, 1994, 2009
- All-Ireland Under-18 Ladies' Football Championship: 2
- 1989, 1990
- All-Ireland Under-16 Ladies' Football Championship: 4
- 1985, 1987, 1990, 1994
- Provincial Championship
- Munster Senior Ladies' Football Championship: 1
- Munster Junior Ladies' Football Championship: 6
- 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1996, 2006
- National League
- Ladies' Football National league: 1
- Ladies' Football National League Div 2: 4
- 1990, 1991, 2000, 2008
- Ladies' Football National League Div 3: 1
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 May 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Banner secretary Pat Fitzgerald calls for 'unified approach' in Clare". Irish Examiner. 10 December 2020.
- "Munster GAA chief calls for action on cynical fouls in hurling". Sky Sports. 25 January 2021.
- "Fitzgerald Hints At Term As Clare GAA Secretary Running Until 2023". The Clare Champion. 16 December 2020.
He outlined that he has also addressed this issue two years ago, and stated that he is secretary of Clare GAA in a full time capacity.
- "There comes a time when you say enough is enough': Fitzgerald speaks out on Garda investigation". Clare Echo. 14 December 2019.
- "Davy Fitz's dad blasts social media for split that forced Clare exit". The42.ie. 8 December 2016.
- "There and thereabouts: Deep divisions are being exposed in Banner hurling with temperatures reaching boiling point". Sunday Independent. 7 March 2021.
- "Clare GAA reveals it had no oversight of club committee that raised €65,000". The Sunday Times. 14 March 2021.
- "There are many layers to this Clare GAA controversy". Irish Examiner. 20 April 2021.
We will quote the email the Garda Press Office sent this newspaper early last July: 'This investigation is ongoing. A file is currently being prepared'.
- "Gardai called in to investigate online abuse of Clare county secretary". Extra.ie. 9 November 2019.
- "Clare call in gardaí over online abuse of Fitzgerald". Irish Independent. 9 November 2019.
- "Gardaí probe online attacks on Clare secretary Pat Fitzgerald". Irish Examiner. 13 December 2019.
- "Cusack Park Packed". Clare Echo. 10 June 2018.
- "Tickets Snapped Up For Crucial Munster Derby". Limerick Leader. 10 June 2019.
- "Clare Overcome dismissal To Oust Dublin". RTÉ News. 7 July 2012.
- "Fitzgerald's Clare blitz Limerick to claim final berth". The Irish Times. 18 August 2013.
- "Clare And Cork To Meet Again". RTÉ News. 9 September 2013.
- "Clare Crowned Champions After Eight Goal Thriller". RTÉ News. 29 September 2013.
- "Tony Kelly wins Hurler and Young Hurler of the Year awards". 8 November 2013. Archived from the original on 9 November 2013.
- "Tony Kelly inspires Banner to first League title since 1978". Irish Independent. 8 May 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
- "Clare take long-awaited Div 1 title in controversial circumstances against Waterford". Irish Examiner. 8 May 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
- Irish Independent 29 March 2010: Final goal for camogie
- Ó Muircheartaigh, Joe (2000). Ennis: Fág an Bealagh [The Chronicle of Clare 1900–2000 The Chronicle of Clare 1900–2000] Check
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- "The Banner roar, Jacko's last game, Marty's phrase - 25 years today since Clare shocked Kerry". The 42. 19 July 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
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