Rory Gallagher gets Donegal nod for three more years

A specially convened sitting of the Donegal county committee last night ratified Rory Gallagher as senior team manager for another three years, with an option of a fourth.

The Belleek, Co Fermanagh, native has completed two years of what was also originally agreed to be a four-year tenure - also three years with the option of a fourth.

Gallagher was initially ratified as the successor to Jim McGuinness in October 2014, a month after Donegal were defeated 2-9 to 0-12 by Kerry in the All-Ireland final.

However, at a meeting with county board officials - county chairman Sean Dunnion, secretary Aideen Gillen, treasurer Cieran Kelly, assistant treasurer Paddy Tinney and Ulster Council delegate PJ McGowan - just over two weeks ago, it was suggested that Gallagher would seek a longer term with Donegal expected to enter a transitional stage.

Eamon McGee and Colm McFadden have already stepped away from the senior set-up and they could be followed by a number of other experienced players.

Donegal’s underage structures have shown themselves to be in competent shape in recent years with Declan Bonner overseeing Ulster Minor success in 2014 and Shaun Paul Barrett’s team doing to same this year.

Gallagher originally joined the Donegal set-up under McGuinness in 2011 as assistant manager and helped the county to back-to-back provincial titles and then the 2012 All-Ireland championship.

McGuinness and Gallagher parted company in the wake of the 2013 season.

In his first two seasons in charge, Gallagher took the side to the Ulster final - where they were beaten by Monaghan and Tyrone respectively - before being knocked out of the All-Ireland series at the quarter-final stage, by Mayo in 2015 and then Dublin this year.

Donegal, under Gallagher, have appeared in the semi- finals of the Allianz League Division 1 in each of the last two years.

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