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Mary Hannigan: The search continues as John O’Shea steps into the breach

Former Manchester United defender steps up; Rory Gallagher now free to resume coaching in GAA; why Ireland should fear Feyi-Waboso

It is, Gavin Cummiskey reminds us, 99 days since the Football Association of Ireland parted ways with Stephen Kenny, but the search for his successor has proved to be a rather tricky one. Thus far it would appear to be a case of unrequited love in their attempts to woo Lee Carsley, so John O’Shea is taking over as interim manager. An appointment in early April is now being promised, which has led to speculation that the FAI haven’t given up on Carsley yet, but O’Shea will take charge of the team for the friendlies against Belgium and Switzerland. And, writes Gavin, one of the skills he will require is the ability to communicate to the public via the media, “especially in defeat because this promises to be more like his Sunderland than Manchester United days”.

In Gaelic games, Rory Gallagher is free to resume coaching after his debarment from the GAA was overturned by the Disputes Resolution Authority. Gordon Manning brings us the details on the case, Gallagher having stepped down from the Derry job last year following allegations of domestic abuse made against him by his ex-wife, Nicola.

Ciarán Murphy, meanwhile, welcomes the addition of Jim Gavin to new GAA president Jarlath Burns’ football review committee. “When people say Gavin will save Gaelic football, it’s not entirely in jest,” he writes, although Roscommon manager Davy Burke tells Paul Keane that the committee should tread softly. “What is the big problem with football? I don’t see it in the way that some of the narrative is spun. I think the game is already fixing itself to be honest with you,” he says.

In rugby, John O’Sullivan reports on the clamour for England’s talented (Welsh-born) 21-year-old wing Immanuel Feyi-Waboso to start against Ireland on Saturday week “as a panacea to his team’s misfiring or clunky attack”. Mind you, he hasn’t been able to fully focus on the preparations for that game, missing England camp in York this week to study and take a first-year medical exam. A busy man.


And there are (hopefully) a busy three days ahead for the 10-strong Irish team at the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Glasgow. “It may come down to a tale of two Sarahs,” writes Ian O’Riordan, with both Healy and Lavin targeting finals.

Ireland, alas, didn’t send a team at all to the Florida Man Games which, Dave Hannigan tells us, featured events such as “Eat the Butt Challenge” and “Weaponized Pool Noodle Mud Duel”. Happily, women were also able to, eh, compete, the Games including a “Florida Ma’am” beauty pageant, one contestant wearing beer cans as hair curlers. “Just like the Olympics,” says Dave. “Except funnier, drunker, stupider.”

TV Watch: There’s no shortage of Irish interest at the Cognizant Classic (the artist formerly known as the Honda Classic) which gets under way in Florida today, Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry and Pádraig Harrington all in the field (Sky Sports Golf, 11.45am-11pm). And at 9.30 this evening, TG4′s Laochra Gael focuses on the life and times of Laois’s lone hurling All Star, Pat Critchley.

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