LIMERICK GAA have given the green light to the amalgamation of the underage hurling sections of three inner city Limerick GAA clubs
A report into the Limerick City GAA Division Underage Hurling Structures, proposed that Ballinacurra Gaels, Claughaun, Old Christians and St Patricks amalgamate for an initial five year period from the age groups of U13 to minor (U18) in hurling only.
However, Claughaun opted not to proceed.
This Tuesday night's September County Board meeting sanctioned the remaining three clubs - Ballinacurra Gaels, Old Christians and St Patricks - to amalgamate their underage set-ups.
From 2021, the trio will now play as Southside Gaels from the age groups of U13 to minor (U18) in hurling only.
Southside Gaels is to act as an underage hurling feeder structure to the clubs, who will all retain their adult teams.
Limerick GAA chairman John Cregan thanked all that worked on the report - chaired by Limerick's Central Council delegate Paul Foley.
"It stemmed from the fact that we as a County Board felt very strongly that we want all our clubs to remain in existence in the strongest possible way. We felt that in the absence of sitting down, looking at the issues, and trying to find a solution - that might not be the case with clubs remaining in existence," said Cregan.
"Paul Foley chaired the sub-committee and there was a lot of work put into this and this is the solution that we have come up with - is it perfect? I'm sure it's not but it positive and I am quite sure that it will be helpful to those clubs in the inner city for their survival and I know that Coaching and Games are fully supportive and willing to ensure maximum levels of support are given to these clubs under the banner of Southside Gaels," said the chairman.
He confirmed that there will be a review at the end of each of the five years.
For all Southside Gaels underage teams, management and backroom teams insofar as possible will include representation from each club. Also proposed is that, insofar as possible, a location base for each Southside Gaels hurling team will be agreed to allow for consistency in the scheduling of training.
If an excess number of players register for any particular Southside Gaels underage team a B Team will be entered at an alternative grade.
The new club colours and jersey are to be agreed in the coming months.