Cork City sign Celtic’s Eoghan O’Connell on loan

Meanwhile, 16 clubs received Premier Division licences

Cork City manager John Caulfield has snapped up Eothan O’Connell on loan from Celtic until the summer. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Cork City manager John Caulfield has snapped up Eothan O’Connell on loan from Celtic until the summer. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

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Celtic defender Eoghan O’Connell has joined his hometown club Cork City on loan until the summer after injury problems resulted in his spell at Oldham being cut short.

The 20-year-old, who previously played with College Corinthians and Avondale United, spent a couple of seasons in the Celtic academy – where he was named as Player of the Year last season – before making his first team debut in 2014.

He has made only three additional appearances for the senior side, however, while he played just two games for Oldham before his loan spell was cut short in November.

The centre back will now get the opportunity to get more regular competitive football with City in the hope of returning to Scotland for the start of next season. “It’s about getting as many games as I can but the main objective is to help Cork City do as well as possible while I am here and try to win as many games as possible,” says O’Connell whose father Damien and brother Andy have both previously had spells with the club.

Licences

Cork, meanwhile, are one of 16 clubs to have been awarded Premier League licences for the new season. Four clubs – Cabinteely, Cobh Ramblers, Shelbourne and UCD – received only First Division licences.

League champions Dundalk received theirs despite having neither owned their nominated home ground, Oriel Park, nor had an express agreement with the leaseholder to play there for the coming season at the time they applied for the licence.

Des Casey and his family, the owners, are taking eviction proceedings against the leaseholder, previous club owner Gerry Matthews, who, it is claimed, had previously agreed to surrender the lease when he was leaving the club.

The club says it has legal advice to the effect that it does not need the agreement of Matthews, who is seeking to strike a financial deal with it in relation to the “Youth Development Centre” he constructed in Oriel but the association’s licensing rules do not make any allowance for the type of legal dispute in progress between the three parties.

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