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Pat Fitzgerald confirms ‘intention to step down’ as Clare GAA secretary after 32 years service

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Then Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald in conversation with his father, county board secretary Pat, at Semple Stadium in 2016. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Then Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald in conversation with his father, county board secretary Pat, at Semple Stadium in 2016. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Then Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald in conversation with his father, county board secretary Pat, at Semple Stadium in 2016. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Pat Fitzgerald has confirmed that he is stepping down as Clare GAA secretary after over three decades in the role, including 15 years as a full-time officer.

The veteran official, who is the father of high-profile former goalkeeper and manager Davy Fitzgerald, announced his imminent departure in a letter this afternoon.

He will resign on July 18, the day after this year’s All-Ireland senior hurling final, with Clare still in the shake-up to reach the decider ahead of a semi-final date with Kilkenny early next month.

“I am writing to inform you that after 32 years of service, it is my intention to step down from my role as Clare county secretary on the 18th July this year,” Fitzgerald revealed.

“I wish the county and all our teams the very best with all future endeavours and plans, both on and off the field of play. I am very proud of what we have achieved together over many long years and I wish you every success into the future.

“I look forward to supporting our county as a fan and assisting in any way I can in the years to come.”

Fitzgerald had served as secretary in a voluntary capacity for 17 years until 2007, when he was successful in an interview process among a number of candidates to take the job full-time. According to the Clare Champion, the salary at the time was €55,000 – €25,000 of which was supplied by Clare county board.

In more recent years, his stewardship has been marked by deep political divisions within Clare GAA, controversy over the state of facilities in the county board’s centre of excellence – as well as an investigation into alleged online abuse of Fitzgerald.

In July of last year, after it emerged that the Director of Public Prosecutions would not be bringing a criminal prosecution after Gardaí investigated the matter, Fitzgerald told the Clare Champion that he planned to take a civil case, adding: “I’m fairly sure there is a case there to be answered.”

In a separate development, a review of Clare GAA, circulated to clubs last October, described Clare’s centre of excellence at Caherlohan as “not fit for purpose” and also claimed that the county’s administrative structure was “not reflective of a vastly changed operational environment.”

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