Paddy Carr resigns as Donegal mess deepens

Paddy Carr has stepped down as Donegal manager after just five months in charge. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Paddy Carr has stepped down as Donegal manager after just five months in charge. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin Paddy Carr has stepped down as Donegal manager after just five months in charge. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

DONEGAL’S problems deepened even further yesterday with the resignation of manager Paddy Carr after just five months in charge.

In a short 44-word statement, Carr said that he was stepping down “following a discussion with some members of the Donegal football team”.

He added that he “want[s] nothing more than the best for Donegal and that will never change”.

It’s understood that coaches Aidan O’Rourke and Paddy Bradley will remain in place for at least their final league game against Roscommon this weekend.

Donegal were effectively relegated from Division One by their heavy defeat to Mayo on Sunday, a first-ever victory for their visitors on Donegal soil.

Their League campaign had begun with victory over All-Ireland champions Kerry but the cracks quickly began to show. A draw with Galway in Letterkenny was sandwiched by defeats to Tyrone, Monaghan, Armagh and Mayo.

Carr’s appointment was the second last managerial appointment ahead of the new season, just a day ahead of Davy Burke in Roscommon, who has Donegal All-Ireland winner Mark McHugh alongside him.

It is the latest crisis to befall the county after Karl Lacey’s resignation as head of the county’s Academy was accepted last month.

A full county committee meeting is scheduled to be held tonight in Convoy, with clubs told on Tuesday that the Academy was the only item on the agenda. It remains to be seen whether the upheaval at senior level is added for discussion.

In a further note to clubs yesterday, Donegal GAA said the meeting had been “called to address recent media / publications surrounding the academy and other unrelated matters raised in these media / publications.

“The board has been inundated with requests from the media to issue a response or make a reply. It was decided by the county executive on Monday night that the appropriate forum to address these matters is at county committee level.”

Members of the media are not permitted to attend the meeting.

Former Tír Chonaill star Damien Diver has called for a vote of no confidence in the county board. It is unclear whether such a vote can be held at tonight’s meeting.

“I feel sorry for Paddy Carr as he is a decent man and it is not nice to lose your job in any sphere,” said Diver.

“But it is a fact that you are judged on results and it happens nearly every week in the Premiership.

“The Academy and Paddy Carr’s resignation are two different things but if things are not right at the top it filters down.

“There has been a general feeling of instability and there has to be a vote of no confidence in the board after all that has happened.

“Things have to be sorted out as the Academy was one of the best in the country and that has still to be sorted out.

“Our underage record is abysmal and it will continue to be like that if we don’t have Karl Lacey at the helm.

“Look there needs to a root and branch clear out and a reboot of the county board.

“We have to look to the future and not backwards.

“We should get Croke Park for advice and help us out of this situation because obviously we are not doing things correctly in the county.

“The current model is just not working and we need to be shown how to improve,” said the Ardara man.