In recent weeks there have been many rumours, particularly in Dublin GAA and media circles that Roscommon star Donal Shine was about to leave Clann na nGael and join a Dublin club, with Parnells being one of those linked with Shine.
This time of years such rumours are not unusual particularly if the player concerned should be a student in the capital, a member of the Garda or indeed anyone else who works or resides in Dublin.
Such stories inevitably followed the much publicized, much debated ‘transfer’ of Mayo’s Conor Mortimer to the ‘cash rich’ Parnells club where more than a third of the team are non Dubs, some from neighbouring counties such as Laois.
The good news though for Rossies fans – and particularly for his club, Clann na Gael, is that Donie Shine does NOT plan to follow in Mortimer’s footsteps. The SportsNewsIreland columnist,asked if there was any truth in the rumours quickly dismissed them adding : “No truth at all in the rumours. I’ll be playing with Clann na nGael next year”.
That will be particularly good news for fans of the small rural club situated in the southern end of Roscommon. The area is comprised of the two half parishes of Drum and Clonown, the parish being SS Peter and Paul, Athlone.
The Clann na nGael Club was formed in 1936 when Drum and Clonown amalgamated. Among the prominent players of this time were Mike Nolan, Pat and Jack McManus, Jim and Frank Killian, Tom Nicholson, the Rocks, Gavins, Henrys, Terry Hynes, Paddy Lennon, Ned Egan, Jack Ruane, and Owen and Paddy Shine.
Clann won their first ever county title, the Junior Championship, in 1940, and were promoted to Senior status. However, after an unsuccessful period at senior level, the club reverted to Junior in 1945. The club battled on and in 1954 won a second Junior Championship. That win was significant as it regained senior status, a ranking that Clann has not relinquished since.
Among the players who down through the years helped to maintain Clann’s proud standing were Tom Harney, John Grenham, John Gately, Paddy Seery, Tom Henry, Michael Durney, the Goodes, the Dempseys, Mike Lennon, the Shines, and Patsy Duignan.
County senior titles were won in 1976, 1977, 1979, 1981 and 1982. Young players like Fran Nicholson, Paul and Owen McManus and Eamon McManus (Jnr) were also helping to fashion the glory era.
The first Connacht Club Championship was won in 1982 and defeat followed in the All-Ireland Final against Portlaoise, at Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary. Clann were defeated early in the 1983 county championship, but the following year bounced back to put together one of the best success stories of any side. Eight county senior titles were won in succession (1984-1991), a remarkable run by any standard.
Clann na nGael also won six Connacht Club titles in succession in that era (1984-1989) and appeared in four successive All-Ireland Finals (1987-1990). During this period, Clann also captured the All-Ireland 7-A-Side crown in 1989.
The Shine family have long been associated with Clann na nGael hence the confirmation that the likeable young Donal will remain ‘on their books” will come as a great relief no doubt to his many admirers in Roscommon.