Clare GAA clubs have backed dual club Cratloe’s desire to continue playing in this year's county senior hurling and football championships after they’ve been rocked by six positive tests for Covid-19 in the past week.
At a special meeting of the Clare County Board on Tuesday evening that was held via Zoom, chairman Joe Cooney sounded out the views of clubs on Cratloe’s continued participation in the championships.
“It’s going to be called the Covid Championship,” Cooney told the meeting. “We need to work together but there is no guarantee that we’re going to be able to do what we want to do. It won’t be for the want of trying,” he added.
“Health, family, and community are on the top of our list,” said Cratloe chairman Kevin Browne. “Everything we have done is on back of what the HSE has told us to do. Six cases may seem high, but it's not a surprise to the HSE,” he added.
“We would be totally behind Cratloe going forward,’ said Kilmurry Ibrickane delegate Martin Lynch. “We all know that tomorrow that it could be ourselves or another club,” he added.
"We all want to support Cratloe on this," said Jimmy Cooney of Éire Óg.
Cratloe’s senior hurling second round tie against Éire Óg was due to take place in Shannon last Sunday, but was cancelled after it was revealed last Friday that one Cratloe had tested positive for Covid-19.
At Tuesday’s meeting it was revealed that a further five players from the Cratloe club have tested positive for the virus. “Out of 24 people that have been tested, six have tested positive. The club are working closely with the HSE and with Clare GAA in keeping us updated with what is going on,” said Joe Cooney.
On foot of these positive tests, 18 Clondegad footballers, who played Cratloe in a Junior A Championship game have gone into self-isolation, as have all the Cratloe players, which means that both clubs won’t be able to resume GAA activity until the weekend of 22/23 August.
With agreement of clubs and the backing of the county board, it’s hoped that Cratloe’s senior hurling game against Éire Óg will take place that weekend, with their senior football second round game against Clondegad pencilled in for the following weekend.
“We should get as many games in as we can,” said Smith O’Brien’s delegate Tony O’Brien. “We are in totally unchartered waters. It could be taken out of our hands. You see what is happening in the midlands. Take a step back. Think about games and think about helping each other out. Play the games we can and then try and catch up coming towards the quarter and semi-finals,” he added.
“If agreements can be got to put back the games and play them like Cratloe and Clondegad have requested, we will look at that side of it,” said Joe Cooney. “We have to get the CCC views on this and what they have explored. We also have to take into consideration the officers of the board who will be meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) evening.
“We have to try and run the fixtures as much as possible. We have to take into consideration the managements of the senior county teams, both hurling and football, and the panels of players as we are well aware when their championships are starting in the month of October,” he added.
After the meeting the draw for the senior hurling quarter-finals, which included Cratloe, was made. It went as follows: Inagh-Kilnamona v O’Callaghan’s Mills Ballyea v Kilmaley Broadford v Sixmilebridge Feakle v Cratloe or Éire Óg