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Former Dundalk manager and Ireland underage coach dies aged 58

Seán McCaffrey was a founding member of Monaghan United and also coached with the Ireland underage teams during the 2000s.

McCaffrey took charge of Dundalk for six months in 2012.
McCaffrey took charge of Dundalk for six months in 2012.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Updated at 16.36

FORMER DUNDALK MANAGER and Ireland underage coach Seán McCaffrey has passed away at the age of 58.

McCaffrey took charge of the Lilywhites for a brief spell from January until July 2012 before being replaced by Darius Kearns.

He will be remembered fondly as a founding member of Monaghan United in 1979, where he also led the side in their debut League of Ireland campaign six years later in 1985.

McCaffrey would later go on to coach with the Ireland U17, U18 and U19 teams, succeeding Brian Kerr and remaining in the role until 2010.

The Monaghan native helped bring through current Dundalk players, including John Mountney and Chris Shields, with the club tweeting on Saturday:

“The club is saddened to learn of the death of former #DundalkFC manager, Seán McCaffrey. We offer our deepest condolences to Seán’s family and friends at this time. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”

FAI CEO John Delaney was among those to pay tribute to McCaffrey after today’s sad news.

“It is very sad to learn of the passing of Sean McCaffrey, who was truly an inspirational character and someone who made a difference at all levels of the game.

“From his early days with Monaghan United to serving as an FAI Development Officer in the north east of the country and through to his masterful handling of the Republic of Ireland Under 19, Under 18 and Under 17 teams, he covered so much.

“While many people will rightly praise Sean for leading his Under 17 team in 2008 to the European Championships in Turkey, his real legacy lies with the numbers of players that he helped produce for the men’s senior team, which was well into double figures and included the likes of Robbie Brady, Jeff Hendrick, James McCarthy, Darren Randolph and Aiden McGeady.

“Quite simply, Sean McCaffrey was a football man. He was passionate about the development of the game, he drove Irish football on, and he was always the same, whether he was dealing with a schoolboy starting out or one of the country’s elite players.

“We send our deepest condolences to Sean’s family and friends at this time and we will remember Sean’s contribution to Irish football with a special presentation in the new year.”

Additional reporting by Paul Fennessy

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