Thursday 23 November 2017

Clonard on brink

Brendan Furlong

The future of Clonard G.A.A. club is now in greater doubt than ever.

A further meeting of the club was held in the Community Centre on Thursday night which attracted an attendance of more than 30 people.

Those present deliberated at length with regard to the club's future, discussing developments from recent meetings, but they were still unable to decide a future pathway for a unit which now seems to be sinking rapidly.

For some time the club has been struggling with player numbers, the lack of a quality home and facilities of their own, leading to an amalgamation with St. John's Volunteers for Junior and under-age hurling and Under-21 football under the umbrella of Wygram Gaels.

With St. John's Volunteers now returning to sole football club status - something which was confirmed by vote at their A.G.M. - it increased the pressure on Clonard who, despite fielding a Junior football team this year, suffered some embarrassing defeats and were relegated.

At their latest meeting the club was unable to decide on a future. Following lengthy discussion the club Chairman, Ger Cashman, called for a vote that split 50/50, leaving the matter unresolved.

The Chairman was reluctant to use his casting vote, but given that it was an extraordinary general meeting, some felt that a two-thirds majority was needed to overturn an existing structure.

However, the meeting ended with no solution found, as delegates were left wondering if the club will be affiliating in any grade for 2016.

Now it's planned to hold the club's annual general meeting where its future will more than likely be resolved once and for all.

Also likely to be discussed is the G.A.A's overall plan for Wexford town, and the number of football teams that should be permitted in its catchment area which the Clonard club has not yet encroached upon.

Meanwhile, the move towards an amalgamation of south county neighbours Our Lady's Island and St. Fintan's is highly unlikely to take place at this stage.

While Our Lady's Island have discussed a proposed move in this direction, the debate has not gathered any momentum.

With no motion for an amalgamation before the county Convention, the clubs will now continue in their present format, amalgamated for under-age grades, but as a sole entity for adult purposes.

It had been suggested that Our Lady's Island footballers would play with St. Fintan's, and that there would be the reverse arrangement for hurling, with the Fintan's players uniting under the Island banner.

However, there wasn't sufficient desire for the plan to gather traction among enough people within the two clubs, so it seems to be going nowhere.

Wexford People

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