O'Grady poised for Limerick role

O'Grady poised for Limerick role

Donal O'Grady is in line to be named Limerick's new senior hurling manager, as the Shannonsiders bring to an end their two-month search to find a successor to Justin McCarthy.

It is understood that the former Cork boss, who guided the Rebels to All-Ireland glory in 2004, will be the only name put forward for the position at a meeting of the Limerick GAA Executive in the Gaelic Grounds tonight.

A special meeting of the Limerick County Board will then be scheduled in two or three days' time, when O'Grady's name will be put forward as senior hurling manager for ratification or rejection by the clubs.

Former Limerick hurling heroes, Ciaran Carey, Pat Heffernan and TJ Ryan, who played together during the 1990s, are all understood to be in line for positions as selectors.

From the outset O'Grady was rumoured as a potential successor to McCarthy, who was among those nominated by the clubs - along with Carey and Ryan.

The 56-year-old Corkman recently retired as principal of North Monastery CBS in Cork city, but has been kept busy by his media commitments which include work as a hurling analyst for RTE's 'The Sunday Game' and a columnist with the Irish Examiner newspaper.

He distanced himself from the Limerick job earlier this month, stating: "I haven't spoken to anyone in Limerick. And nobody has spoken to me. I'm aware of those rumours, but that's all they are."

That changed last week when Limerick GAA officials discussed the position with him, and a further meeting took place in recent days to hammer out an agreement.

If he does get the job, O'Grady's first order of business will be to mend relations with the players from the 2009 panel who refused to play under the embattled McCarthy this year.

Amid that long-running saga, Limerick fielded young and inexperienced teams. They were relegated to Division 2 of the National League and lost all nine of their NHL and Championship matches, with McCarthy departing following a 1-18 to 1-13 All-Ireland qualifier defeat to Offaly.

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