Rory Gallagher handed three-year term as Donegal football boss

Rory Gallagher with Jim McGuinness in 2013
Rory Gallagher left Jim McGuinness's Donegal set-up after the 2013 Championship

Rory Gallagher has been appointed Donegal senior football manager on a three-year term with the option of a further season.

Gallagher succeeds Jim McGuinness who stepped down four weeks ago.

Fermanagh native Gallagher served as McGuinness's assistant during the first three years of the Glenties man's Donegal reign.

However, he left McGuinness's management team after Donegal's disappointing 2013 season.

McGuinness quit the Donegal job less than two weeks after the county's All-Ireland Final defeat by Kerry.

Declan Bonner is remaining on as Donegal minor football manager after guiding the team to this year's All-Ireland decider where they were also defeated by the Kingdom.

Donegal's club delegates also ratified Maxi Curran to continue as Under-21 manager for a further one-year term.

Gallagher's appointment is no surprise as he was immediately installed as favourite for the job after McGuinness's exit.

New Donegal football manager Rory Gallagher:
"I would like to thank Jim for the position he has left Donegal football in as the dominant team in the province."

Former Louth boss Paddy Carr, who is a Donegal native, was also nominated for the job along with Anthony Harkin and Cathal Corey but Gallagher always appeared the stand-out candidate.

Gallagher played county football with his native Fermanagh and Cavan and also won an All-Ireland Club medal with Belfast outfit St Gall's in 2010.

Renowned as a shrewd tactician, Gallagher was ever-present alongside McGuinness on the sideline as Donegal's Ulster title win in 2011 was followed a year later by their All-Ireland Final triumph over Mayo.

However, a heavy defeat by Mayo a year later saw the break-up of that particular backroom team as both Gallagher and Maxi Curran departed from McGuinness's set-up.

The precise reasons for the duo's exit from McGuinness's management team were never fully explained.

Over the past year, Gallagher has helped out with the management of the Kilcar football team and he will bring a strong knowledge of the Donegal club scene into his new role.

Speaking after his appointment on Friday night, Gallagher said that he was "privileged" to be back involved with the Donegal team.

"The attitude, commitment, honesty and ability of those players has to be admired," Gallagher told the Donegal Democrat.

"I would like to thank Jim for giving me the opportunity towards the end of 2010 to get involved.

"Not only was it was a wonderful experience, it was a special period in my life and I would like to thank Jim for the position he has left Donegal football in as the dominant team in the province."