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Down turn to All-Ireland winner McCartan for second spell as boss

The Mourne county have at last filled the vacancy created by Paddy Tally’s departure.

JAMES MCCARTAN HAS returned as Down senior football boss after being ratified at tonight’s county board meeting.

pjimage (5) James McCartan and Aidan O'Rourke. Source: INPHO

McCartan, who guided Down to the 2010 All-Ireland senior final in his debut season, when they lost out to Cork, had brought his first spell in charge to an end in July 2014.

He has since been manager of the Down minor team and coached Queen’s University to the Sigerson Cup title in 2007.

It has been reported that Aidan O’Rourke, the 2002 Armagh All-Ireland winning defender, will assume the position of head coach. The pair have previously worked together with Queen’s University and towards the end of McCartan’s previous reign over Down. More recently O’Rourke managed the Louth senior footballers.

McCartan is a celebrated figure in Down football after his playing exploits, landing All-Ireland senior medals in 1991 and 1994.

james-mccartan-1994 James McCartan in action for Down against Dublin in the 1994 All-Ireland final. Source: INPHO

The announcement means the Mourne county have at last filled the vacancy created by Paddy Tally’s departure in July, after he had sought a one-year extension but did not receive enough support from board delegates.

Tally has subsequently joined Jack O’Connor as part of his new management team in Kerry. Down lost out to Donegal in the Ulster opener in their only championship appearance in 2021 and avoided relegation to the third tier of the league.

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