Rory Gallagher (Gaelic footballer)

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Rory Gallagher
Personal information
Irish name Ruaidhrí Ó Gallchobhair
Sport Gaelic Football
Position Full Forward
Born (1978-08-22) 22 August 1978 (age 39)
Enniskillen, Northern Ireland
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Occupation Retail Manager
Years Club
Erne Gaels
St Brigid's
St Gall's
Club titles
Fermanagh titles 2 (1 Dublin, 1 Antrim)
Ulster titles 2 (1 Dublin, 1 Antrim)
All-Ireland Titles 1 (St Gall's)
Years County

Rory Gallagher (born 22 August 1978) is a former gaelic footballer and former manager of Donegal. Gallagher has lined out for the Fermanagh and Cavan inter-county teams, as well as several club teams, including his home club Erne Gaels,[1] as well as Dublin side Saint Brigids and Antrim's St Gall's. He was a selector for Donegal during their 2012 Championship success, acting as number two to Jim McGuinness. He left the Donegal panel after the 2013 championship but later returned as Jim McGuinness's successor in October 2014 when McGuinness stood down after Donegal lost to Kerry in the 2014 All-Ireland SFC Final. He was joint manager of CLG Chill Chartha with John McNulty in 2014 during his time out from the county panel.

Playing career[edit]

He broke his leg in October 1993.[1]


Gallagher won the Antrim Senior Football Championship and the Ulster Senior Club Football Championship with St Gall's in 2009 and added the All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship in 2010. He won the Dublin Senior Football Championship and the Leinster Senior Club Football Championship with Saint Brigids in 2003.


Gallagher has played for Fermanagh and for Cavan.[2]

In 2002, Gallagher scored 3-09 in an Ulster Championship game against Monaghan. He was top scorer in the Ulster Senior Football Championship for three consecutive years, in 2000 (1-19), 2001 (0-16) and 2002 (4-12). After soaring to such heights he quit Fermanagh in 2002.[3]

He briefly returned to Fermanagh in 2010.[2][4] Then he left such was his disgust when John O'Neill was appointed county manager.[5]

In 2011, he joined the Donegal senior football team as a selector.[2] As soon as he joined he knew all the players' names. Jim McGuinness had originally recruited Peter McGinley but he had work commitments and spoke of Gallagher as an impressive coach. [6] Martin McHugh also thinks highly of him. McGuinness decided to call upon Gallagher.[7] Since his arrival McGuinness's team have twice won Ulster and in 2012 they got their hands on Sam the man himself. The people of Donegal now look upon Gallagher with awe and reverence and as a kind of demi-god to Jim's Messiah.[8] Gallagher lives in Killybegs where he is the manager of the local SuperValu.[2]

He resigned as a selector in 2013.[9] He was then linked with the vacant Fermanagh and Antrim jobs but settled instead for Donegal Under-21s assistant manager under Maxi Curran.[10][11] After his departure from the Donegal senior team, fellow McGuinness underling Curran, who also sacrificed himself, said: "I think that Rory made an enormous contribution to Donegal's success as a tactician, coach, motivator and diplomat. He did not spare himself in bringing Donegal right up to the top [...] I cannot speak highly enough of him and I consider it an honour and a privilege to have worked alongside him. He will undoubtedly be a massive asset to any club or county side fortunate enough to engage his services."[12]

Managerial Career[edit]

After Gallagher left the Donegal panel in 2013, he became joint manager of CLG Chill Chartha with John McNulty.

After the departure of Jim McGuinness. Gallagher and former Mayo manager James Horan were rumored as the most likely replacements until Horan announced he was not interested in the job. This left Gallagher as the most likely candidate. Gallagher was appointed the new Manager of the Donegal Senior football team in October 2014.

Gallagher made his competitive managerial debut for Donegal in the national league first division in a win against Derry with a score of 1-15 0-12. His second game ended in a defeat against Dublin losing 2-10 0-11. His third game ended with a marginal win against Cork with a scoreline of 0-12 1-08. Donegal's next meeting came against Monaghan resulting in a defeat of 1-04 0-09. Another win followed against Tyrone in a 1-13 0-06 scoreline. In the final round Donegal drew with Mayo 0-12 1-09 but made it through to the semi final on points difference but lost to Cork in a scoreline of 4-11 0-19.

Gallagher's championship debut soon followed with Donegal meeting Tyrone in the preliminary round with the winner facing Armagh. Donegal overcame Tyrone in Ballybofey with a win of 1-13 1-10. Donegal later faced Kieran McGeeney's Armagh in what was expected to be a tough match following the previous years meeting in the All-Ireland SFC Quarter final where Donegal snatched a victory 2 minutes from time winning by a point in a tense game that was going either way. However, it was not the case this time as Gallagher's men eased their way to victory with a 0-08 2-11 win allowing Donegal to progress to the semi final to meet Derry whom they beat 0-10 1-09 in Clones to make Gallagher's first Ulster SFC Final as manager and Donegal's fifth successive final which resulted in a narrow defeat to Monaghan by a score line of 0-11 0-10.

As a result of Donegal losing in the Ulster SFC Final, Gallagher's men met Galway on August 1st 2015 at Croke Park in the last round of the All Ireland Qualifiers. Donegal defeated Galway in a scoreline of 3-12 0-11 setting up a meeting with Connacht Champions Mayo in the All Ireland SFC Quarter Final which resulted in defeat for Donegal by a 2-13 0-11 scoreline bringing an end to their 2015 championship campaign.

Gallagher stepped down as Donegal senior football manager on 31 July 2017.[13][14]

Gallagher was appointed Fermanagh senior football manager on 11th September 2017.


  1. ^ a b "Gallagher Rory". 12 April 1996. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Rory Gallagher becomes Donegal selector". BBC Sport. BBC. 5 January 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Corrigan on life after Rory". BBC Sport. BBC. 15 April 2003. Retrieved 15 April 2003. 
  4. ^ "Gallaghers make Fermanagh return". BBC Sport. BBC. 23 December 2009. Retrieved 23 December 2009. 
  5. ^ "Gallagher silence says it all for Fermanagh". Evening Herald. Independent News & Media. 21 September 2012. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2012. Question: "Had you already decided to pack it in with Fermanagh when Jim got in touch with you?" Rory Gallagher: "Once they gave John O'Neill the management job, that finished me with Fermanagh. There is no doubt about that." Question: "You obviously don't rate him very highly?" Rory Gallagher: "No." 
  6. ^ Shannon, Kieran (25 June 2011). "A taste for success". Irish Examiner. Thomas Crosbie Holdings. Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  7. ^ "Gallagher answering McGuinness' call". The Irish Times. Irish Times Trust. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012. Now, they talk on the phone at least an hour a day and spent countless hours on that same field, coaching and exhorting the players into becoming genuine All-Ireland contenders and devising a style of play that has become nationally known as “the system”. 
  8. ^ "Donegal can handle the hype, claims county selector Rory Gallagher". RTÉ Sport. RTÉ. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "Backroom trio quit Donegal management teamr". RTÉ Sport. RTÉ. 17 September 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  10. ^ Bogue, Declan (18 September 2013). "Gallagher tipped for Fermanagh after Donegal exit". The Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  11. ^ Keane, David (23 October 2013). "Curran & Gallagher Reunited for Donegal U21s". Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  12. ^ Campbell, John (26 September 2013). "Curran remains committed to Donegal cause". The Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  13. ^ "Rory Gallagher quits as Donegal manager following championship exit". Irish Independent. 31 July 2017. Retrieved 1 August 2017. 
  14. ^ "'Thanks and appreciation' for Gallagher but who will be the Donegal manager in 2018?". The 42. 2 August 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 

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