Donegal GAA officials to discuss Shane Ward's demotion as minor coach at meeting next week

Tom Comack


Tom Comack

Donegal GAA officials to discuss Shane Ward's demotion as minor coach at meeting next week

Shane Ward with Donegal U-17s. Photo Geraldine Diver

The fall-out from the shock and sudden departure of Donegal Co. minor/U-17 coach, Shane Ward, continues, with Donegal GAA officials due to discuss the matter early next week.

Aodh Ruadh clubman, Ward, a former Leitrim senior manager, was ‘stood down’ by county minor manager Gary Duffy last Sunday night.

The evening before (Saturday) Donegal suffered a heavy 14 point defeat to Tyrone in the  first round of the Ulster Championship meeting in Ballybofey.

Tyrone won that game 5-12 to 1-10 in a one sided clash.

Donegal chairman, Mick McGrath,  a fellow Aodh Ruadh clubman of Shane Ward, has confirmed county officials are going to discuss the matter at their scheduled executive meeting on Tuesday night.

When contacted by the Democrat the chairman said:

“It is on the agenda for Tuesday night’s executive meeting and I have informed both Shane Ward and Gary Duffy of this.

“Naturally, I’m very disappointed at what has happened. I have known Shane Ward since he was a schoolboy and his reputation as a coach and manager is well known, having managed up to inter-county level,” said the chairman, who went on to say he did not wish to comment any further on the situation until it is discussed by the executive.

The matter is also expected to be raised at the county committee at their monthly meeting also on Tuesday night.

The Democrat understands feelings are running high on the issue in the Aodh Ruadh club and it is expected to be raised by club delegates on Tuesday night.

The Democrat has also learned that there have been further departures from the minor management team.

Goalkeeping coach Greg Sweeney from Ballyshannon and statistician Fergal O’Donnell from Belleek stepped down in support of their colleague.

Meanwhile, the minors were back in training on Tuesday night in preparation for their Qualifier meeting with either Monaghan or Antrim who meet next weekend. Monaghan and Antrim meet on Saturday in Corrigan Park in Belfast.

Gary Duffy,  a qualified coach, took the session and it is understood all the players with the exception of the four members of Rory Kavanagh’s U16 squad and one other were present.

The U-16s play Tyrone on Sunday evening in Buncrana in the Buncrana Cup final.

Last Saturday’s defeat was Donegal’s second big game defeat in a matter of weeks. They also suffered a 12 point defeat to Monaghan (2-21 to 1-12) in last month’s McGuigan Cup league final.

The Democrat has learned that Gary Duffy and Shane Ward spoke last Sunday night over the telephone and that Gary Duffy asked Shane Ward to step down.