LAOIS GAA - Clonad vote down Shanahoe option

The proposed merger of Clonad and Shanahoe to compete in the SHC for 2011 will not go ahead, after the Clonad committee voted against the move.

The proposed merger of Clonad and Shanahoe to compete in the SHC for 2011 will not go ahead, after the Clonad committee voted against the move.

Players from both clubs had held informal meetings back in November of last year, and the push to join up gathered pace in recent weeks. A committee meeting in Clonad on Monday night of last week opted against the move however, and both clubs will now continue to compete separately in the IHC.

Clonad chairman George Conroy declined to comment on the matter, only to confirm that the committee had made the decision, although he didn't rule out the possibility of the clubs joining forces at some point in the future.

For Shanahoe, chairman Karol O'Keeffe admitted they were disappointed to be missing out on the chance to hurl at senior level. "The majority of the club were in favour of the move, and it would have been passed at committee level. On our end it's disappointing, it was a chance to hurl senior, but we got word from Clonad that they felt it wasn't in the best interests of the club."

O'Keeffe echoed George Conroy's comments, however, and refused to rule out the possibility of the clubs making the move again some time in the future. "The ground work is done so the talks could progress a bit further the next time."

The decision of the Clonad committee to veto the merger could have a potential fallout for them, as it is believed two of last year's intermediate team have handed in transfer requests since the decision was made. Chairman George Conroy admitted any such talk was "news to me", stating the final decision on transfers would be made by the club's committee.

Had an agreement been reached, it would have left 12 teams in the Laois SHC, but that championship will now go ahead with 11 teams in place, with two groups of four and one group of three the preferred format.