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13th Sep 2023

Derry rule out possibility of Rory Gallagher returning as county manager

Lee Costello

Rory Gallagher

Derry will have a new manager this season.

Derry have officially ruled out any possibility of Rory Gallagher returning to his role as manager of the senior county team.

Gallagher had initially left the role last summer just days before the Ulster final, following allegations of domestic abuse made by ex wife Nicola.

The former Oakleaf boss was banned from coaching in the sport while an investigation into these allegations was underway, however The Sunday World revealed last week that he was back with Monaghan club Corduff.

Ulster GAA then released a statement explaining that he was temporarily “debarred without prejudice” from the GAA, and that this ban will be upheld while the provincial body’s adult safeguarding review of the matter is complete.

When Gallagher initially resigned from the Derry job, assistant manager Ciaran Meenagh took over, and guided them successfully to the All-Ireland semi-finals.

Meenagh was popular with the players and seemed the likely candidate to stay on, however he has since ruled himself out of the position, stating that he will not be involved with the Derry team next year in any capacity.

This news has fulled speculation that the county board or hoping to reinstate Gallagher as manager, and are waiting to see what the outcome is of the investigation.

However, when asked by The Irish News if Derry GAA had completely ruled out a potential return for Gallagher, a spokesperson replied: “Yes”.

Derry are undoubtedly the biggest county in Gaelic football right now who are yet to have a manager, and with the team in such a healthy position, it appears to be a job that would be sought after.

However, the number one target has to be Malachi O’Rourke, who guided Watty Graham Glen to an All-Ireland club final last year, and is currently in charge of the reigning Ulster champions.

It could be a case of waiting until the Derry club championship is over before approaching the former Monaghan boss, but fans will be hoping that it can all be sorted sooner rather than later.

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