Clare star Conor Cleary leaves Cusack Park like ‘an auld dog’ after injury

A Clare club manager has claimed county hurler Conor Cleary had to be carried from a pitch like “an auld dog” after sustaining a serious ankle injury at Cusack Park, Ennis on Saturday evening.

U21 captain Cleary was playing senior club championship for Kilmaley against Inagh-Kilnamona when he collapsed in agony early in the second half.

Kilmaley manager PJ Kennedy said there was no stretcher available and Cleary had to be lifted from the field and carried down the corner of the ground to an ambulance. It has since emerged that Cleary has a fractured ankle and will be out of action for up to six weeks.

“Conor was clearing a ball but he couldn’t get a swing at it because he was being closed down,” Kennedy told Clare FM. “He swung out a leg and the other leg went from under him.

“Next thing he let off a bit of a roar. We knew he was in trouble and Rory Hickey, the referee, stopped the match. He went to the sideline and said, ‘can somebody get a stretcher?’

“There were stewards standing there. They were all looking at each other and nobody knew anything. There was no stretcher. It was very unsavoury.

“To make a long story short, we carted him off the field the same as if he was an auld dog. It wasn’t good enough.”

The Kimaley manager said that there was no medical aid available at the ground. “Absolutely nothing. There wasn’t even a crutch, there wasn’t a wheelchair, there was nothing there. It could have been a neck or spinal injury. What were we going to do then? Then we had to leave him on the sideline, thrown up against the fence. The ambulance was called then.

“In the meantime we had to try and comfort him but thankfully the pain that he had was easing. Then the paramedics came up along the sideline to have a look at him. They had no stretcher either so he had to be carried down to the corner to the ambulance,” he explained.

He praised the Kilmaley and Inagh-Kilnamona medical teams for their efforts in making Cleary comfortable before he was removed to hospital.

However the Clare County Board last night insisted a stretcher was available.

“It’s regrettable that Conor Cleary was injured while playing for Kilmaley in Cusack Park on Saturday. Conor is an outstanding Clare hurler and footballer. All in Clare GAA wish him a speedy recovery. Subsequent to his injury Conor was moved from the pitch with the assistance of the Kilmaley physiotherapist. Contrary to reports a stretcher was available in Cusack Park on Saturday evening. However upon the advice of the relevant emergency medical services, it was deemed unnecessary for use in this particular case. Clare GAA would like to record its gratitude to the ambulance services and HSE for their prompt attention and professional service that they provided,” the Clare GAA statement read.

More on this topic

Blow for Clare as All-Star forward set for lengthy spell on sidelinesBlow for Clare as All-Star forward set for lengthy spell on sidelines

Colm Collins: The advanced mark is an absolute joke. Mother of God, who brought these rules in?Colm Collins: The advanced mark is an absolute joke. Mother of God, who brought these rules in?

Colm Collins: 'By God you’d have to proud to be associated with a team display like that'Colm Collins: 'By God you’d have to proud to be associated with a team display like that'

Brian Lohan edges Davy in Cold War battleBrian Lohan edges Davy in Cold War battle


Lifestyle

Liz O’Brien talks to Niall Breslin about his admiration for frontline staff, bereavement in lockdown, his new podcast, and why it's so important for us all just to slow down.Niall Breslin talks about losing his uncle to coronavirus

Podcasts are often seen as a male domain — see the joke, 'What do you call two white men talking? A podcast'.Podcast corner: Three new podcasts from Irish women that you should listen to

Esther McCarthy previews some of the Fleadh’s Irish and international offerings.How to attend the Galway Film Fleadh from the comfort of your own couch

Whether you’re on staycation or risking a trip away, Marjorie Brennan offers suggestions on novels for a wide variety of tastesThe best fiction books for the beach and beyond this summer

More From The Irish Examiner