Conor Shaughnessy joins Hearts on loan from Leeds United

Defender has played just one League Cup tie under Marcelo Bielsa

Irish under-21 international defender Conor Shaughnessy has joined Hearts on loan until the end of the season with the Galwayman effectively replacing Jimmy Dunne, who had been at the Scottish Premiership club for the first half of the season.

Dunne’s spell in Edinburgh went well initially, with his 14 games yielding two goals and moving him to the margins of the senior Irish squad. It was effectively cut short, however, by an ankle injury at the end of November when he returned to Burnley. But with the loan now officially over and the injury cleared up the defender played 90 minutes in a 1-0 defeat for the English club’s under-23s on Tuesday.

Shaughnessy will head north hoping to get game-time himself, with the 22-year-old, who had played more than a dozen times for Leeds before injury ended his season prematurely at the start of the last year, almost entirely overlooked by new manager Marcelo Bielsa.

The Argentine has suggested that he sees a longer term future for the Irishman at the club but has given him just one League Cup outing since arriving in the summer and Shaughnessy is likely to fare much better in Scotland where his brother Joe plays for St Johnstone.


Former Bray Wanderers defender Graham Coughlan has talked of his delight at being given the manager's job at League One side Bristol Rovers on a full-time basis.

“I’ve been 10 years a bridesmaid,” said the Dubliner, who played nearly 500 first team games in England and Scotland. Coughlan had already taken the first steps towards management long before hanging up his boots at Southend five years ago.

“I’ve been a number two or a number three and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it,” he told the BBC. “I always felt I could do a job on this side of the fence. I believe in myself and I do believe in the group of players that are here. I don’t think they should be where they are in the division.

Derry City, meanwhile, have signed young central defender Josh Kerr until the end of the season from Brighton. The 20-year-old Scot was on Celtic's books for five years before heading south in 2017.

Norwich City have handed former UCD winger Simon Power a new long-term contract and sent him out on loan to Dutch second division side Dordrecht until the summer. Power moved to England a year ago and has done well since at under-23 level.

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone is Work Correspondent at The Irish Times