The task of getting a new Donegal GAA county manager will begin in earnest tomorrow night (Thursday) when the Donegal Co. Executive meet to begin the process.
The deadline for nominations was on Saturday evening last at 6 p.m. and while the official number of nominations was not being released by the Co. Board, it is believed that there are at least five people nominated for the post to replace Rory Gallagher in the Donegal hot seat.
The five names being mentioned are Declan Bonner, Gary McDaid, Shaun Paul Barrett from within Donegal and Cathal Corey (Tyrone), a former club manager with Naomh Conaill, and Seamus ‘Banty’ McEnaney from Monaghan, who is believed to have applied in person for the position. Other names such as Oisin McConville and Tony McEntee were linked to the position, but until the Co. Board release the full list, we cannot be 100% sure of the final list.
It is believed that the other candidates have been nominated by clubs with Na Rossa, Glenswilly, Milford and Naomh Conaill to be the clubs involved. It is also possible that some of the candidates have been nominated by more than one club.
It is not known if all of the five (or more) candidates will go forward for interview. There was speculation that both Gary McDaid and Shaun Paul Barrett were also interested in the U-20 manager post, which has also to be filled.
When the Co. Executive meet tomorrow night (Thursday) the big task before them is to select a committee to take the process forward.
Speaking to the Donegal Democrat, Co. PRO, Ed Byrne said it was likely that the selection committee would include the three main officers (Sean Dunnion, Aideen Gillen and Cieran Kelly) as well as two or three others, who would have no ties to any of the candidates and would be without any conflict of interest.
But while the process will begin tomorrow night, the Co. Board have already been working on the groundwork, and it is believed that it may well be possible that interviews could begin next week.
The September Donegal Co. Committee meeting, due for Monday next, September 4th, has been put back a week to 11th, but that may still be too soon to have the process completed.
Donegal Co. chairman, Sean Dunnion, says that the October Co. Committee meeting is the likely date when a candidate will be put before the meeting for final ratification.
“We cannot say for sure but the October meeting is the most likely,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Donegal Competitions Control Committee (CCC) held a Fixtures Forum on Monday night to discuss club league formats in the county.
It was well attended and produced plenty of discussion. Much of it surrounded the imbalance of Star fixtures and the large number of reserve games which are being called off.
Among the proposals are to increase the Divisions to 15/16 teams and having a separate regional league during the busy intercounty months in the summer.
The CCC propose to set up a Work Group to discuss the issues further and bring proposals back to Co. Committee.