Belfast Telegraph

Despite rumblings, Gallagher was best option for Derry

In position: Rory Gallagher
In position: Rory Gallagher
Declan Bogue

By Declan Bogue

It is with some irony that the home county of Seamus Heaney found itself in the centre of a controversy that would have dominated the news cycle if it wasn't sandwiched between an epic All-Ireland final and replay.

Heaney held to a truism in Beowulf: "Anyone with gumption and a sharp mind will take the measure of two things: what's said and what's done."

Last night's meeting of the club delegates in Derry painted a picture of a people's uprising.

The citizens of the clubs are sick and tired of being trampled upon, not receiving due process would you believe, from the county board.

The hill they were prepared to die on was the appointment of Rory Gallagher as manager. This was a gross miscarriage of justice, some felt. As if some dirty deal was done.

The clubs came back with a number of options, including current Under-20 manager Mickey Donnelly, former Tyrone Under-21 boss Peter Doherty, and former captain Johnny McBride with legendary forward Paddy Bradley on his coaching ticket.

Here's the fun bit. The clubs asked for an extension. It was granted. Then, they asked for another extension. Again, it was granted. Only one more name was nominated by the clubs within that time; that of Rory Gallagher.

We are playing semantics slightly, but only one of the options put forward was a Derry man.

Any offence at a manager coming from the outside is laughable when just one of four potential bosses was actually a born and bred Derry man.

And when you weigh up the accumulated experience of the candidates against what Gallagher has accrued, there is no contest.

Gallagher also brings Ciaran Meenagh, who coached the players last year and is said to be very popular with the group, and the beloved and admired Enda Muldoon as selector.

There was no storming of the Owenbeg Bastille. Gallagher is now manager. The Derry county board have got their best possible result.

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