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Dublin: 5°C Monday 18 January 2021

All-Ireland winning Louth boss, who took over in tragic circumstances, steps down ahead of 2020

Darren Bishop steered the county to All-Ireland junior glory at Croke Park three weeks ago.

Stepping down: Darren Bishop.
Stepping down: Darren Bishop.
Image: Warren Matthews

RECENT ALL-IRELAND WINNING Louth ladies manager Darren Bishop has stepped down from the helm, three weeks after delivering Croke Park silverware.

Louth LGFA confirmed the news last night, with the Monaghan man citing family commitments. Last month, Bishop oversaw the Wee county’s All-Ireland junior final victory over Fermanagh, as they overwrote their 2018 decider loss.

Bishop, who steered Leinster junior glory both last year and earlier this summer, took over after the untimely death of Míchéal McKeown in early June 2018. The 67-year-old passed away after a short illness. 

A close family friend of McKeown’s, Bishop had overseen a few training sessions prior to McKeown’s passing so the PE teacher was approached to take the reins and drive on with the team.

And after Míchéal’s wife, Mary, asked if Bishop would continue on his legacy, he accepted the offer and duly obliged. The first job at hand was to steer them to a Leinster crown. In the All-Ireland showpiece, they were edged out by Limerick, but showed true character to bounce back from the tragic circumstances.

louth 2018 Leinster junior champions: The Louth team with Mary McKeown.

This season, Louth reached their league semi-final, again beat Carlow in the provincial decider and captain Kate Flood inspired in the All-Ireland final. 

In a statement released to his players, Bishop said:

“It is with a very heavy heart that I have decided to step away and this is due to primarily to family commitments. The birth of my two boys have changed my priorities in life and my family deserve my full attention.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed being your manager and I feel very privileged to be given this opportunity. Collectively as a group, you have been fantastic to work with. Anything that I ever asked of you during training and matches was always followed through.

“You ultimately got what you deserved at the end of this year by winning the All-Ireland title and I was delighted for you all.

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lauren-boyle-and-darren-bishop-celebrate-after-the-game Celebrating with Lauren Boyle after this year's All-Ireland final win. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

“Going forward for this team, it’s important that you remain focused and driven to continue to seek those high standards and expectations you achieved this year.”

Bishop went on to thank his backroom team and various other people involved and the county board for “taking the gamble of taking me on last year and this year.”

“For me personally it has been a fantastic experience and an opportunity that I will always be grateful for,” he concluded, wishing all all the best going forward as the hunt for his successor begins ahead of the 2020 league and intermediate championship.

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Emma Duffy

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