MALACHY O’ROURKE WAS last night ratified as the next manager of the Monaghan senior football team.
A county board meeting rubberstamped the appointment of the former Fermanagh boss and that was announced afterwards on the Monaghan GAA website. The Derrylin man boasts impressive managerial credentials, having been at the helm of his native Fermanagh for three seasons – 2008 to 2010.
O’Rourke enjoyed excellent success in his debut campaign with the Erne County as he guided Fermanagh to promotion from Division 3 and also to the Ulster final where they were defeated after a replay by Armagh. Their All-Ireland campaign ended that year at round four of the qualifier stage when they suffered defeat to Kildare.
In 2009 Fermanagh were beaten in the Ulster quarter-final by Cavan before losing in the first round of the All-Ireland qualifiers against Wicklow. The following season Fermanagh reached the Ulster semi-finals but were beaten by Monaghan and were then defeated in round two of the qualifiers by Armagh.
O’Rourke has also made his mark in club football, most notably with The Loup as he was manager when they won the 2003 Derry senior football final against Ballinderry and the Ulster club title later that year against St Gall’s (Antrim). Their All-Ireland ambitions ended in February 2004 when they lost out to Galway’s Caltra, inspired by Michael Meehan, by 2-9 to 0-9 in Markievicz Park.
He subsequently won the 2006 Tyrone senior football title with Errigal Ciaran against Carrickmore but they lost out in the Ulster semi-final that year against Ballinderry. The following year O’Rourke again managed a team to a county senior crown, this time with Cavan Gaels as they won the honours in the Breffni county against Gowna. That season they fell in the provincial championship to St Gall’s in the quarter-final.
O’Rourke replaces Eamonn McEnaney who stepped down earlier this season in the wake of Monaghan’s All-Ireland qualifier loss to Laois in O’Moore Park, Portlaoise. Monaghan had earlier exited the Ulster championship at the hands of Down at the semi-final stage.