Mayo native Maurice Horan has ended his tenure as manager of the Limerick senior footballers, just a few short days after they were knocked out of the All-Ireland SFC qualifiers by Longford.
Horan has opted not to put his name forward for a fourth year in charge, and a statement released today confirmed that he has informed the Limerick County Board and Football Committee that he is stepping down.
Horan thanked those who supported him during his managerial reign - from Joe Lee, who was a selector with him for three seasons, to the backroom staff and his family and friends - and had a special word for the players who are still chasing the county's first Munster SFC title since 1896.
"The players have given so much in their desire to bring Limerick football to the top. They enjoyed great days - such as the 2011 win over Wexford, and the historic Croke Park appearance - and I hope they will look back on their period in their footballing careers with fondness," he said.
"Many of them have given distinguished service to the Limerick jersey. Hopefully this group, or some future group, will achieve the elusive Munster title in the very near future."
Horan worked as a selector under Mickey Ned O'Sullivan before becoming the Shannonsiders' boss in 2011. That year saw Limerick reach their first ever All-Ireland quarter-final following wins in the qualifiers over Offaly, Waterford and Wexford.
The 2012 season ended in disappointment with Championship defeats to Clare and Kildare, and while the current campaign produced promotion and a second Division 4 title in four years Horan's side struggled to make any impact in the Championship despite the return of talismanic midfielder John Galvin from injury.
The Shannonsiders scored only 0-17 in two heavy losses to Cork and Longford, with the absence of leading forward Ian Ryan, the top scorer in the 2012 Munster Championship, keenly felt. He missed both games with ankle ligament damage.
Michael Reidy and John Riordan were sent off in the closing stages at Pearse Park last Saturday to compound Limerick's woes as they went down 2-14 to 0-9 to Longford in their first round qualifier clash.
A statement from the Limerick County Board and Football Committee read: "While disappointed with his resignation, we fully respect Maurice's decision and would sincerely like to thank him for his 100% commitment and loyalty to Limerick football over the past four years and wish him and his family every good wish for the future."