Noel King to step down as Dundalk manager due to medical reasons

Former Ireland under-21 manager was in the post for less than a month

Noel King has resigned as manager of Dundalk after just four games in charge, citing “medical reasons.”

Club owner Brian Ainscough appointed King in April, despite the recruitment process being initiated by chief executive Peter Halpin to find a replacement for Stephen O’Donnell.

A Dundalk FC statement read: “Noel King has informed the club that he will be stepping down as first-team manager with immediate effect due to medical reasons. We would like to thank Noel for his time with the club and we wish him and his family all the best in the future.”

Liam Burns will take over on an interim basis ahead of Friday’s visit of Shamrock Rovers to Oriel Park.


King’s return to management, after a 21-year hiatus from League of Ireland men’s coaching, began with a 2-0 defeat of Bohemians on April 26th and scoreless draw with league leaders Shelbourne. However, successive losses to Drogheda United and Waterford leaves Dundalk rooted to the bottom of the Premier Division, six points adrift of Drogheda.

On May 11th, Dundalk supporters club The 1903 published an open letter to Ainscough, who purchased the club last November, demanding the removal of King.

“Mr Ainscough,” it read “we would urge you to please recognise your mistake regarding the appointment of [King], revert back to the process that the club had for the selection of the first-team manager and please put in place the correct structures ... that will give the club a fighting chance of escaping relegation this season.”

On May 13th Brian Gartland, the head of football operations at Dundalk since January 2023, also left the club.

Following King’s departure on Wednesday afternoon, Ainscough took to X, telling a Dundalk fan to “go f**k yourself u shit head.” He subsequently deleted the post that was attached to the official Dundalk statement on King.

Meanwhile, UCD defender Harry Curtis has received a 10-game ban for “discriminatory language” used against a Kerry FC player.

Gavin Cummiskey

Gavin Cummiskey

Gavin Cummiskey is The Irish Times' Soccer Correspondent