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O’Rourke withdraws from running as Roscommon's search for new senior football manager continues

Aidan O’Rouke was the County Board’s leading candidate for senior football manager, but has ruled himself out of the running.

Aidan O’Rourke pictured in charge of Louth in 2014.
Aidan O’Rourke pictured in charge of Louth in 2014.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

AIDAN O’ROURKE has officially ruled himself out of the running for the position of Roscommon senior football manager, the county confirmed on Tuesday.

The former Louth boss was the County Board’s leading candidate to take over from Kevin McStay, however a phone call from O’Rourke has ended his involvement in the running. As a result, Roscommon’s search for a new senior football manager continues.

A committee consisting of chairman Seamus Sweeney, secretary Brian Carroll and treasurer David O’Connor were joined by former Roscommon captain Niall Carty and former player Ciarán Heneghan to try and select a new manager. A five-week consultation period followed.

“Interviews were conducted during week 6 and last night Monday, October 22 Roscommon GAA Management Committee expected to be in a position to put the name of the preferred candidate for consideration to the club delegates,” a statement said.

“Prior to last night’s meeting, the chairman Seamus Sweeney received a phone call from the preferred candidate requesting a 24-hour deferral. This was conveyed to the county board delegates at last night’s meeting.

Kevin McStay Kevin McStay stood down as Roscommon manager at the start of September following three years in charge. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

“Our preferred candidate was Aidan O’Rourke. His team was to consist of Mike McGurn Strength and Conditioning, two Roscommon coach/selectors, and a head coach Karl Lacy.

The statement continued: “The reason for the delay was because of unexpected doubts in relation to Karl Lacy’s availability as head coach. Unfortunately, this morning the county chairman received a call from Aidan O’Rourke informing him that he was withdrawing from the process.

“The Roscommon GAA Management committee are very disappointed at the turn of events but are fully committed to completing the selection process. However, the committee is concerned at attempts that have been made to influence the outcome of the process over recent days,” the statement added. 

“The committee believes that these events have undermined the integrity of the process and potentially affected our ability to attract a new manager. In addition, some of the public commentary on social media has been extremely unhelpful.”

McStay vacated the post last month and announced his retirement from inter-county management.

The former Mayo footballer spent three years in the position, delivering a Connacht title in 2017 and promotion to Division 1 of the Allianz Football League this year.

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Aaron Gallagher

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