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Former Tipp boss and Mourneabbey mastermind Ronayne takes charge of Cork ladies

The Mitchelstown native was most recently in charge of the Waterford men’s footballers for 2021. He succeeds Ephie Fitzgerald in his new role.

New man at the helm: Shane Ronayne.
New man at the helm: Shane Ronayne.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

SHANE RONAYNE HAS been ratified as the new Cork ladies senior football manager on a three-year term.

A hugely successful and renowned coach in the women’s game, Mitchelstown native Ronayne was appointed at a county board meeting at Nemo Rangers tonight after he had been recommended by a five-person sub-committee tasked with identifying the next boss. He has been handed a three-year term.

The former Waterford men’s and Tipperary ladies’ manager, who also steered Mourneabbey to back-to-back All-Ireland club titles in 2018 and ’19, succeeds Ephie Fitzgerald whose six-year tenure comes to an end.

Uncertainty reigned over Fitzgerald’s future after Cork LGFA announced earlier this month that it was seeking expressions of interest for its senior and minor manager positions.

It was understood that the Nemo Rangers clubman hadn’t stepped down, but that the two-year term he was was handed at the end of 2019 was up.

The Southern Star reported that Ronayne, Fitzgerald and John Cleary were the three names in the hat for the top job in Cork ladies’ football, with interviews held last week. Fitzgerald, however, did not put himself forward for interview.

Speculation mounted on Friday night as Ronayne’s departure from the helm of the Waterford men’s footballers was announced.

Ronayne spent one season in charge of the Déise, taking charge after a trophy-laden stint with the Tipperary ladies’ footballers. He guided the Premier county to four national titles in as many years, All-Ireland intermediate crowns delivered in 2017 and 2019.

He took the reins at Mourneabbey in 2014, steering the Clyda side to six county and provincial championship titles in a row as well as two All-Irelands.

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He now takes charge of his native county, as Cork continue their tradition of sticking with managers from within the county.

The outgoing Fitzgerald succeeded the late, great Eamonn Ryan at the helm in January 2016, and steered Cork to their 11th All-Ireland title in 12 years in his first season in charge. He also delivered three Division 1 league crowns (2016, 2017 and 2019) and Munster honours (2016, 2018 and 2019).

The Rebels exited the 2021 All-Ireland race at the semi-final stage, after a dramatic extra-time defeat to eventual champions Meath.

Ronayne was previously touted as a leading contender to take over from Ryan, having worked alongside the coaching great towards the end of his glittering Cork tenure. 

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Emma Duffy

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