Rory Gallagher and Anthony Harkin’s interest in succeeding Jim McGuinness as Donegal manager was made public as this evening’s 5pm deadline for nominations came and went.
Gallagher confirmed his interest as he was nominated by Kilcar, where he is the current joint-manager with John McNulty, this afternoon. The former Cavan and Fermanagh footballer lives in Killybegs and was McGuinness’s assistant in 2012 as Donegal won the All-Ireland championship.
Earlier in the week, it became known that Cathal Corey’s name had been put forward by Naomh Conaill and Paddy Carr was been nominated by the Fanad Gaels. Late on Friday evening it emerged that Ardara had nominated Anthony Harkin.
Corey took the Glenties club to the 2010 Ulster club championship final, only to lose to Crossmaglen Rangers having seen off Killybegs in the Donegal decider. A year beforehand, Corey, who is from Kildress, Co Tyrone, was joint-manager of Naomh Conaill with McGuinness.
Fanad native Carr, who has also had spells with Meath minors and Louth seniors, is best known for managing Kilmacud Crokes to the 2009 All-Ireland club championship. The Navan-based schoolteacher managed Burren to last year’s Down SFC final, where they lost to Kilcoo.
Harkin is the current Coaching Officer within Donegal circles and was trainer under Brian McEniff when Donegal clinched Sam Maguire for the first time back in 1992.
Aside the three names publicised in the last week to replace McGuinness, Donegal country secretary Aodh Mairtín O’Fearraigh hinted yesterday there may be more nominations.
Donegal are also seeking an U-21 and a minor manager after Declan Bonner and Maxi Curran’s terms recently came to an end. Both have been nominated to continue in their roles next year, although Bonner is understood to be currently considering his position having taken the county minors to a first ever All-Ireland final in September.
Eamon O’Boyle, the former St Eunan’s manager, and Gary Duffy from Buncrana are two of those interested in the U-21 post and Sean Paul Barrett from Milford, last year’s U-17 manager, has been nominated for the minor post.
“We decided at the last meeting of the executive that we would keep all nominations confidential,” O’Fearraigh said yesterday evening. “Some names have crept into the public domain of their own accord but our decision was to keep things in-house.
“We will now enter the next stage of the process and will be acting swiftly. We expect to have three names to go before the clubs for the three positions at the next sitting of county committee, which takes place on Monday, November 3.”
Nomination forms are also out for this year’s annual convention, which takes place at the Abbey Hotel in Donegal town on Sunday, December 14.
Meanwhile, the new senior manager will open the Allianz League Division One campaign against Derry under the floodlights at Sean MacCumhaill Park on Saturday, January 31.
Donegal’s other homes will see Cork make the journey to Ballyshannon’s Fr Tierney Park on Sunday, March 1; Monaghan return to O’Donnell Park in Letterkenny on Sunday, March 8, and Tyrone provide the opposition in Ballybofey on Sunday, March 29.
Donegal will then open their Ulster championship with a preliminary round tie against Mickey Harte’s Tyrone on Sunday, May 17, again in Ballybofey.