Pat Gilroy the front-runner to take over as Dublin manager
Crucial county board meeting will also consider successful Cuala boss Mattie Kenny
The Dublin County Board are now poised to appoint a new senior hurling manager – with former All-Ireland winning football manager Pat Gilroy still considered the front-runner.
However Wednesday’s county board meeting – postponed from Monday – will also consider All-Ireland hurling club winning manager Mattie Kenny, who earlier this year guided Cuala to Dublin’s first ever title in that championship.
Both candidates – Gilroy and Kenny – will first be considered by the Dublin management committee, who immediately afterwards will then put their preference to the full county committee for ratification.
The position has been vacant since July when Ger Cunningham stepped down, and Kenny was the original frontrunner, before Gilroy’s name first emerged last week.
Dublin’s 2011 All-Ireland-winning football manager is understood to have former Galway hurling manager Anthony Cunningham on board in a coaching capacity, further strengthening his candidacy. Gilroy ended Dublin’s then 16-wait for a football All-Ireland in 2011, before stepping down in 2012, citing work commitments.
Much of that work was carried out in London but Gilroy has been back based in Dublin for the last six months, after changing jobs. The position is due to be offered on a three-year term.
As well as his notable football success, Gilroy does also have some hurling background. He made his senior debut with St Vincent’s in hurling before football, and he won Dublin U15 and U16 hurling championship medals with the club, under the guidance of the late Lar Foley.
Cunningham led Galway to the 2012 and 2015 All-Ireland finals, losing them both to Kilkenny, and is also a former All-Ireland winning hurler (twice with Galway, in 1987 and ’88). He has also been successful in the football sphere, winning county and provincial club titles with St Brigid’s in Roscommon and Garrycastle in Westmeath.
The Gilroy-Cunningham ticket certainly appears attractive, although Kenny is not without strong credentials himself. He was part of Cunningham’s Galway management team in 2011 and 2012, before stepping aside. He then took over Cuala, steering them to two county titles as well as overseeing their historic All-Ireland club win back in March.
Kenny was also known to be in the running for the Galway management job two years ago, before that went to Micheál Donoghue, who last month guided Galway to their first senior All-Ireland since 1988.
Ger Cunningham, the Cork native, stepped down after three largely unsuccessful seasons. He had succeeded Anthony Daly who had guided Dublin to a Leinster title in 2013, their first in 53 years, and also the 2011 league title, their first since 1939.