GAA news from around Ireland this week.

Kerry 5-14 Clare 0-15

Their mother wouldn’t have had it any other way as David and Paudie Clifford turned on the style despite their grief as they helped Kerry to their 84th Munster senior football title in this one-sided final in Limerick’s Gaelic Grounds on Sunday.

Ellen Clifford had died on Saturday night after a long illness, and her footballing sons paid tribute in the best way they could with goals and starring performances as the Kingdom ruled on Shannon side.

Man of the Match David scored two of the Kerry goals and another six points to boot while brother Paudie notched a goal of his own on an afternoon when Tony Brosnan and Dara Moynihan also raised green flags for the winners who led by 3-8 to 0-7 at the break.

2023 Munster Senior Football Champions! #WeAreKerry #CiarraíAbú
📷 Maurice Whelan

— Kerry GAA (@Kerry_Official) May 8, 2023

Manager Jack O’Connor highlighted just how much playing in the game and dedicating it to their late mother meant to the brothers when he spoke to RTE Sport after the emphatic win.

He said, “A tough, tough weekend for the Clifford family. A great sign of the boys that they wanted to play. It was a family decision. They felt it was the best way to honor their mother and they did so in style.

“They’re a great family, a football-mad family. I spoke to the boys yesterday and their father Dermot as well. They were all adamant that they wanted the boys to play, they felt that their mother would want that.

“They wanted to be with the boys. I think there was a bit of solace in coming in today and meeting the group. But it’s going to be a tough few days. My own mother passed away 20 years ago and I still miss her, so they will miss their mother. We’ll give them as much support as we can.”

Sean O’Shea stood in to accept the Man of the Match award on behalf of Kerry captain David and said, “Ellen’s death puts sport into perspective. There are a lot more important things in life than football. It has been an incredibly tough day for the two boys. It shows the character of them to come out and play like they did there.

“We’re thinking of the two lads especially, Dermot, their sister Shelly and all the extended Clifford and O’Shea families. They’re Kerry to the core. That’s the way they were raised and it’s a credit to them. We’ll row in behind them now.”

Beaten by 14 points in total, Clare never delivered any threat to the Kingdom’s hold on the Munster title, and that hurt manager Colm Collins on the occasion of his first provincial final in charge of the Banner. Collins said afterward, “We are disappointed with how we played. I think we made too many unforced errors and with the quality Kerry have, they punish you for that.

“Against the better teams, you get murdered for unenforced turnovers. They got some marvelous scores off those turnovers but you can’t be giving them those kind of chances.”

Clare will now open the All-Ireland series against Donegal and Collins insisted, “This isn’t the end of the line. In two weeks’ time we have a very important championship game in Cusack Park so we’ve got to dust ourselves down and get ready for that.

“If these boys are as good as I think they are, they’ll dust themselves down and they’ll recover.”

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Galway 2-20 Sligo 0-12

Galway manager Padraic Joyce won’t basing any thoughts of All-Ireland glory on the evidence provided by Sunday’s facile Connacht SFC final win against underdogs Sligo at MacHale Park.

Not even an early 0-3 to 0-1 lead could inspire a shock Sligo win as Matthew Tierney hit two goals in the first half as Galway pulled away from the Division Four side.

After retaining the Connacht crown for the first time since 2003 and winning it for a 49th time in total, Joyce was keen to keep Galway's feet on the ground when he spoke to RTE Sport afterward.

“You’re on a hiding to nothing in these games,” said Joyce. “You have to show up and win the game, and if you don’t win it by as much as you’re supposed to, you’re not great. If you win it by as much as you’re supposed to, well, you were supposed to.

“It’s a funny one. You’re eight points up at the break and the big thing is that lads are playing for positions the next day. I told them at half-time that they had to keep the work rate up, keep tackling, keep moving the ball around and playing the way we like.

“In the second half we turned the ball over seven or eight times, which wouldn’t be good enough in two weeks’ time, no matter who you’re playing. We’re probably clutching at straws looking for something to work on. Our job is to come down, win a Connacht championship and we’ve done that. I can’t ask for anymore. We’re just happy to get over the line and win Connacht.”

Goal scorer Tierney finished the game with 2-7 in total and Joyce admitted, “I constantly tell him he should be kicking 1-3 or 1-4, but 2-7 was phenomenal scoring.

“He could have had a third goal when he punched the ball over the bar. He’s been one of our standout performers so far. But I always tell these fellas that get these individual accolades that they should get it again in two weeks.”

🔹Sunday brought the curtain down on a very memorable 2023 Connacht Championship and congratulations to Champions @Galway_GAA!
Thanks to all who have supported our games and good luck to all teams for the rest of the season!
📸 @sportsfile #connachtgaa

— Connacht GAA (@ConnachtGAA) May 9, 2023

Sligo boss Tony McEntee was quick to acknowledge the damage done by those two Tierney goals before the break. 

“I thought if we could keep them to 15-16 points then we could chip in with 10-12 points and make this game realistic, but both of those goals came from our errors,” said McEntee.

“That made life very difficult for us. From a long way out they really punished us, they are very good and they are a very accomplished team. They’ll go a long way.

“Today is just something we need to learn and improve upon, I don’t think it’s necessary that we beat ourselves up here, there’s a gulf in class between the two teams and we are trying to build ourselves and learn from it.”

*This roundup first appeared in the May 10 edition of the weekly Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral.