Shannon have confirmed that scrum-half Fiach O'Loughlin is to leave the Limerick club for AIB League Division One rivals Clontarf.
In a surprising move, O'Loughlin, a three-time AIB League winner who began his career at Shannon as an eager eight-year-old, informed the club of his wish to leave earlier this week. He cited his disappointment at not being considered for a professional contract with either Munster or Connacht as the main reason behind his decision.
Captain of Ireland Under-19s in 2002, O'Loughlin is hoping a move to Clontarf will put him in the reckoning for a Leinster contract.
While Shannon coach Mick Galwey has strengthened his backroom staff in the last month with the arrival of Ian Sherwin as assistant coach, there have been some notable departures from Thomond Park this summer - captain and lock Tom Hayes (Plymouth Albion), hooker Nigel Conroy (Rotherham), John Lacey (Clanwilliam), and wing Tom Cregan, back row David Quinlan and lock Brian Buckley (all Buccaneers).