Clare G.A.A is the Gaelic Games Association in County Clare, Ireland which supports and develops the sports of hurling and Gaelic football in the area. These sports have a rich history in Clare and play a huge part in Irish culture.
Hurling is played frequently and interest in the sport is increasing now that the ginger species are finally allowed to participate in the sport, although this was on the condition that they always wear a helmet during the game and after matches while they are being interviewed. Clare is said to be the dirtiest hurling team in modern history, both in terms of their unsportsmanlike play and their obvious lack of personal hygiene.
Clare's abilities to play the sport are unparalleled in Ireland apart from the other various counties that play the game. Clare's success in provincial titles is unmatched with at least three to their name. The famous song, The Banner Roar was dedicated to Clare's 1995 All Ireland success, nearly winning a Grammy in 1996 but losing narrowly to "Kiss From a Rose" by Seal in the best song category.
Biddy Early's Curse
Biddy Early (1863-1917) is the unpopular Clare county native who cast a spell on the Clare G.A.A. teams in the 1900s. This spell did not allow these fine sporting talents to achieve their expected potential of winning several All Ireland competitions throughout most of the 1900s. It took a very significant victory to break this curse, and such a victory was eventually achieved by the Clare hurling side. The "bitch" of course was very popular with the county rivals Tipperary, who regarded the ugly whore as a county treasure. Noticeably, the duration of the curse was the only time the Tipperary team won any hurling competitons, with Clare obviously dominating the game from 1995 to the present, with a 1995 All Ireland title, a 1997 All Ireland title and the under 21 All Ireland victory in 2009.
Clare's 1995 All Ireland success
This success was probably the most electrifying moment in sports entertainment. Clare overcame the powers of magic from that thundering bitch Biddy Early to defeat Offaly (another county hurling team) in a scoreline of 1-13 to 2-8. RTE pundit Marty Morrissey, a hurling commentator on national television and a Clare native, nearly had an orgasm when the final whistle was blown, strangely howling "Oh, that dog of mine!". It was astounding that Clare defeated Biddy Early's dark sorcery, some have even said she was more powerful than Lord Voldemort or the great Harry Houdini.
Some say this match united all people in Northern Ireland, as even the Catholics and IRA members watched side by side to witness Clare's famous success.
Clare U21 All Ireland success
This was apparently only Clare's first All Ireland success at this age group, but of course the national records of the championships from 2007 and before then are unavailable, so we can only assume that Clare have won numerous titles. On 21 September 2009 Clare supposedly won their first All Ireland U21 final on the scoreline of 0-15 to 0-14 to an inferior Kilkenny side in all regards. One excellent performance on the day came from Clare centre forward John Conlon, scoring three points.
It was rumoured that Kilkenny under 21 wing forward Richie Hogan found a number of performance enhancing substances in Clare's first aid kit after the final whistle was blown. But upon discovering the substances it was reported that Marty Morrissey intervened by giving Hogan a fiercesome belt into the jaw with a 32 inch hurley. Marty Morrissey is now serving a 4 year sentence in a maximum security penetentiary in Dublin, even though he was found not guilty of assaulting Hogan; he was sentenced for exposing himself to old women in the crowd during the match.
Previous County Players
Ollie "Pastry" Baker is a solid structure measuring in a sound 6 ft 5 inches and weighing a powerful 19 stone. As former Clare hurling manager Ger Loughnane put it, "He liked his vegetables". He formed a formidable partnership in the midfield with Colin "The Dawg" Lynch. He was notorious for his heavy "flaking" around the pitch and his thundering shoulders, in fact breaking many an arm in his day. But not only did Ollie have a sumo wrestler physique, he actually also had a "fine pair of wrists on him" and was well able to tap over a few points.
Post Playing Career
Ollie became a comedian shortly after retiring from hurling but unfortunately never got the appreciation he was expecting. In an interview with a spectator after one of Ollie's shows, he simply put it that "he was fucking shite". Despite the criticism, Ollie decided not to give up, but then he did. A little after this Ollie received a large sum of money from the "Pedigree Chum" dog food company as Ollie claimed that this product killed his dog, but it was actually Ollie who rolled over his own dog while reversing his car out of his driveway. Ollie decided to invest this money in stock in Sudan, but unfortunately his lack of knowledge of the stock market and current affairs resulted in him quickly losing this fortune. Shortly after this Ollie set up a McDonalds in Galway but was later sued by the major corporation for copyright infringement. This event sparked Ollie's next move as he set up a food chain which he thought would provide healthy competition for McDonalds, calling it "Burger King", but was again sued for copyright infringement by these food chain giants.
Ollie's biggest success came in the form of a dog grooming company which he called "Ollie takes care of dogs". Although his company was not renowned for its speedy deliveries, Ollie prided himself on his dog washing abilities. One satisfied customer was quoted as saying, "He scrubbed so hard that the hairs nearly came off the dog's balls!"
Brian "The Lock" Lohan was Clare's most skillful hurler of the 90s and the early century. He played full back and was a master of the arts of hook, block, ready position and trash talking the crucial basics, four essential hurling skills. In September 1999 Brian was publicly arrested for trying to smuggle 60 kilos of cocaine beyond the border of Uganda. It is known that Brian was trying to conceal the cocaine in large see through plastic bags, but, unfortunately for him, this plan failed. Brian's red Cooper helmet is as much a part of his identity as his ginger hair and gammy eye, but in 2004 national tragedy struck as the helmet was stolen in the Clare dressing room when Brian bent over to tie his laces. It is thought that Ollie Baker took the helmet in an attempt to make some money by selling it. This was discovered when the helmet was for sale on EBay under the account name "Oliver Baker" of Clare, Ireland. Noticeably, Ollie didn't turn up to training the following week. Brian is said to be the best full back of hurling history, according to a number of non-biased national newspapers including "The Clare Champion", "The Clare People", and "The North Clare Local" and the independent radio station "Clare FM". It is unknown how many scores Brian actually got for Clare but we believe it's in the region of 2 points. These scores hold more of a sentimental value than anything else.
Post Playing Career
Brian's county hurling career ended in 2004. After this Brian found that he had much more time on his hands, so he decided to open a pet store which he set up a partnership with Ollie Baker's dog grooming company. The agreement was that Ollie would wash the animals, presenting them in a more attractive manner so the customers would be more persuaded to buy them. Unfortunately the product "Head and Shoulders" Ollie was using caused the dog's fur to fall out, and many of the animals suffered broken bones because Ollie scrubbed so hard. The shop ran out of business in 2 weeks, leaving Brian bankrupt.
Brian also worked with Colm Meaney in a get rich quick scheme. The pair attempted to steal meat from the local butchers and then sell it for a cheaper price in the streets. But Colm served a 16 year sentence, suspended to four years in Mountjoy after the local butcher "Molloy's" finally informed the local authorities of Colm and Brian's escapades. It is thought that Brian avoided this sentence by bribing the jury with meat products.
PJ "Fingers" O'Connell gained his nickname as he is notorious for giving his neighbours, relations and children the two fingers. O'Connell was a sly, slippery hurler, well known for his reptilian movements arond the pitch. O'Connell usually got the better of his marker by using two cunning methods: pulling down his marker's shorts while they were playing, and punching them in the nose when they would bend over to pull their shorts back around their waist. O'Connell was probably Clare's most underrated hurler, mainly contributing to Clare's All Ireland success in 1995.
Pre Playing Career
O'Connell grew up with an incredible ability to dance. Such an ability gained O'Connell a spot as a backing dancer at a Bee Gees concert during the 80s. But unfortunately for O'Connell, his display was inappropriately sexual, as he removed his shirt, pants and socks and was escorted off stage before he could remove his g string. O'Connell persevered with his incredible talent. He was first noted by Ger Loughnane (previous Clare hurling manager) at the halftime interval of the 1994 Eurovision in Dublin, during the Riverdance performance. O'Connell was reported to be the star of the show leading up to this famous performance, but he refused to perform with his pants on. O'Connell was devastated when it was announced that Michael Flatley would take his place as the leading dancer during the performance. This personal blow was so crippling that O'Connell waited in the carpark for Flatley after the performance and "beat the shite" out of him with a John Torpey hurley (hurley manufacturer in Clare). The onlooking Ger Loughnane was extremely impressed with O'Connell's accurate blows, breaking Flatley's nose and three ribs before being pulled off the man. O'Connell was later quoted as saying, "If only I had remembered his legs!" As a result of this violent "beltin'", O'Connell was called up to the Clare panel at the beginning of the 1995 hurling campaign.
Most Championship Hurling Goals
- 34 - Ollie Baker
- 21 - Niall Gilligan
Gaelic Football in Clare
Men's Gaelic Football in Co. Clare
We won't go there.