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Clare's Mount Rushmore - here are the contenders

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

14:29 28 Jun 2020

We're heading to the Banner county next for our selection of their sporting Mount Rushmore - but which four should get the nod?

Jamesie O'Connor will make the picks on OTB AM tomorrow morning, with Syl O'Connor of Clare FM allowed to make one change to his final four.

We'll also hear from Kieran Shannon and Keith Wood to set the scene and give some context into what makes Clare such a strong sporting county.

But who should make the final four?

15 September 1997; Clare captain Anthony Daly, left, and manager Ger Loughnane with the Liam MacCarthy Cup during the GAA reception for the Clare All-Ireland Football Winning team homecoming at the Burlington Hotel, Dublin. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Clare is obviously a county steeped in GAA history, with hurling in particular to the fore in many people's eyes. The Banner have raised aloft Liam MacCarthy on four occasions - in 1914, 1995, 1997, and most recently in 2013.

Anthony Daly and Ger Loughnane are two names that will be hard to ignore, and were Shane O'Donnell's hat-trick exploits seven years ago enough to warrant a mention?

Seánie McMahon was a crucial member of the double All-Ireland-winning Clare sides in the 1990s, while Davy Fitzgerald made that blue goalkeeper's jersey his own. Then there's Brian Lohan, Tony Kelly, Amby Power, Mick Hennessy, Fergal Lynch - the GAA list is endless.

The late Jimmy Smyth is another iconic Banner hurler, while gaelic football is strong in the county too. Noel Roche is seen by many as the stalwart of football in Clare, with Gary Brennan another big name in more recent times.

And what about a person's place in history? Does that warrant a place on the Clare Mount Rushmore? GAA founder Michael Cusack was of course born on the edge of the Burren.

It's a very strong rugby county too - you have Keith Wood, 'Axel' Foley and Marcus Horan among many others that have stamped their authority on the sport with both Munster and Ireland.

6 May 2000; Munster players, from left, Eddie Halvey, Anthony Foley and Keith Wood celebrate following their side's victory during the Heineken Cup Semi-Final match between Toulouse and Munster at the Stade du Parc Lescure in Bordeaux, France. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

In athletics you have Seamus Power - a multiple cross-country champion at national level. Neil Cusack is another, a winner of both the Boston and Dublin Marathons.

Clare is also home to athletes that have excelled on the world stage in their respective sports - the likes of world champion Irish Dancer Zoe Griffin, Diarmuid Nash, the Kirby's, and Colin Crehan in handball, and Olympic gold medalist Pat McDonald.

Kilnamona native Mike McTigue was light heavyweight boxing champion of the world from 1923 to 1925, while six-time British Champion Jockey Kieran Fallon has to be in with a shout.

Oh, and what about Muhammad Ali? His great-grandfather Abe Grady emigrated from Clare to the United States - surely someone will try to sneak him into the final four...

===

Missed any of our Mount Rushmore county-by-county series? Watch back all episodes here! 

Here is Nathan Murphy's selection of Mayo

Here is Colm Boohig's selection of Cork

Here is Will O'Callaghan and Paul Rouse's selection of Offaly

Here is Shane Hannon and Gráinne McElwain's selection of Monaghan

Here is Diarmuid Lyng and Liam Griffin's selection of Wexford

Here is Neil Treacy and Jack Anderson's selection of Limerick

Here is Enda Coll and Kieran Cunningham's selection of Donegal

Here is Máire-Treasa Nic-Cheallaigh and Michael Lyster's selection of Galway

Here is Adrian Barry and Conor Moore's selection of Westmeath

Here is Ronan Mullen and Dan McDonnell's selection of Louth

Here is Alan Quinlan and Michael Quinlivan's selection of Tipperary

Here is Tommy Rooney and Hector Ó'hEochagáin's selection of Meath

Here is Conor Deegan and Donal O'Neill's selection of Down

Here is Ger Gilroy and Joe Molloy's selection of Kildare

Here is Thom Malone and Paul Howard's selection of Wicklow

Here is Dave McIntyre and Paul Fitzpatrick's selection of Cavan

Here is Arthur O'Dea and Alan Cawley's selection of Sligo

Here is Eoin Sheahan and Kieran Donaghy's selection of Kerry

Here is Cliona Foley and Shane Keegan's selection of Laois

Here is Enda McGinley and Orla Bannon's selection of Tyrone

Here is Oisin Langan and Jessie Barr's selection of Waterford

Here is Enda McEvoy and Gary Halpin's selection of Kilkenny

Here is Cahair O'Kane and Chrissy McKaigue's selection of Derry

Here is Declan Bogue and Colm Bradley's selection of Fermanagh

Download the brand new OTB Sports App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!

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