GAA Football

Derry clubs to mull over Gallagher ratification

Clubs in Derry will meet this evening ahead of deciding whether to give their ratification to Rory Gallagher as the county’s new manager.

CLUBS in Derry will meet this evening ahead of deciding whether to give their ratification to Rory Gallagher as the county’s new manager.

The former Fermanagh and Donegal boss will be put forward by the county management committee to head a team that includes Ciaran Meenagh and Enda Muldoon.

The clubs had asked Derry county board to attend a meeting on Wednesday evening but were then informed that the ratification would take place on Tuesday evening, at the county’s first management committee meeting of the month.

That has traditionally been the case with appointments in Derry. But the clubs have brought their own meeting forward to earlier this evening and will decide whether to give their backing to the proposed appointment.

The way in which the appointment has again angered some clubs in Derry, who had already held two meetings earlier in the process with the county board aimed at ironing out various issues, including those around previous appointments.

But having been given assurances at those meetings, county board officials then approached and met with Gallagher, who was not one of the original nominees put forward by a club.

The Irish News understands that an approach was made to McBride by the county board that he would drop his own bid for the job and join Rory Gallagher as his assistant.

Johnny McBride, Mickey Donnelly and the joint ticket of Peter Doherty and Sean McGoldrick all subsequently withdrew from the race.

In a statement to The Irish News, Derry GAA has defended the appointment process.

“Throughout the process of appointing the next Derry senior football manager there has been some inaccurate and misleading commentary.

“At all times the selection process has followed best practice and the advice which is offered to counties by central GAA.

“Following a request for an explanation of this process, a special meeting was held at Owenbeg on 6 August, to which clubs were invited to send two delegates. The process which was to be followed was outlined in detail.

“Clubs were invited to make nominations for the role and requested extensions to the deadline at both the 6 August meeting and a follow up meeting on 19 August.

“All nominees for the managers’ post had one or more nominations from Derry clubs.

“All nominees were then spoken to by members of the Derry GAA management committee in order to ascertain their level of interest in proceeding to the selection stage of the process and formal interview.

“Any allegations that our director of football met as part of the process with any of the nominees in the absence of management committee members is entirely false.

“A selection committee, the makeup of which was agreed with club delegates, was then formed in order to make a recommendation to the county committee.

“Derry management committee meets on the first Tuesday of every month, the next meeting of which will be joined by club delegates to form the county committee [tonight]."

The ratification of a manager by clubs is traditionally a formality in most counties, but Derry clubs could take the unusual step of refusing to ratify the county committee’s choice this evening.

Gallagher’s name has also been linked in the last 24 hours with the Galway job, which is expected to become vacant in the coming days as Kevin Walsh’s tenure looks set to come to an end.

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