In his first interview after being ratified as Donegal senior manager, Rory Gallagher praised Jim McGuinness for his work with Donegal over the past five years.
Gallagher was No. 2 to McGuinness in 2011, 2012 and 2013 before they parted company at the end of last season. When ratified for a three year term with the option of a fourth year by Donegal Co. Committee, Gallagher said.
“It’s a privilege to be back involved,” he said last night in Ballybofey. “The attitude, commitment, honesty and ability of those players has to be admired. I would like to thank Jim for giving me the opportunity towards the end of 2010 to get involved.
“Not only was it was a wonderful experience, it was a special period in my life and I would like to thank Jim for the position he has left Donegal football in as the dominant team in the province. I’m looking forward to working with the team.”
A native of Belleek, Co Fermanagh, Gallagher is manager of SuperValu in Killybegs. He was favourite for the Donegal post from the moment Jim McGuinness stepped down.
It was learned that former Louth manager Paddy Carr, Dublin born to Fanad parents, expressed his “extreme sympathy” at being unable to partake in the interview process due to his living in Navan, Co Meath.
It was learned that the three main officers – chairman Sean Dunnion, secretary Aodh Mairtín O’Fearraigh and treasurer Cieran Kelly – were joined by 1992 All-Ireland winning goalkeeper Gary Walsh and Michael McGeehin, a Letterkenny native who this year coached the Tipperary footballers.
Gallagher insisted one of his first responsibilities is to liaise with the clubs to ensure a workable fixture chart for 2015.
He said: “I don’t know the solution just yet but am willing to sit down with the clubs and devise fixtures in both league and championship that will benefit the county team and the club teams.
“The players belong to the clubs and have helped to them to reach the level of skill that they are at and I understand that. We will find the best way forward.”