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James McCartan returns to manage Down

Wednesday 24th November 2021

DOWN GAA Press Release



James McCartan returns to manage Down

County Committee confirms appointments of McCartan and O’Rourke.

Down GAA County Committee have appointed James McCartan as manager of the senior football team. At a meeting on Wednesday evening, the two-time All-Ireland winner was ratified for the role he previously held from 2010 to 2014.

James is regarded as one of the great Down footballers, and in an illustrious career he won All-Ireland medals in 1991 and 1994, as well as two Allstars and an All-Ireland Minor title in 1987. In his first year at the helm as manager in 2010, Down reached the All-Ireland Final, losing out to Cork by a single point.

Aidan O’Rourke has been confirmed as the head coach. An Allstar and All-Ireland medallist with Armagh in 2002, he had previously served as manager with Louth and assistant manager with Kildare. He and James worked together when winning the Sigerson Cup with Queen’s in 2007, and he joined the Down management team with Down in 2012 when the Mourne County reached the Ulster Final, All-Ireland Quarter Final and National League semi-final. Aidan has worked with RTE as a games analyst and contributes a regular coaching column to RTE online.

The management team hope to confirm their coaching and backroom teams within the coming days.

In welcoming the confirmation of the appointment, Down GAA chairman John Devaney wished them well and expressed the hope that “the new management will be afforded the patience and support of clubs and our supporters as they look to build and move us forward”. He added that “James and Aidan will bring commitment, experience, a strong work ethic and a determination to change and progress; and I know that the players will enjoy working with them”.


Contact: Paula Magee (Down GAA County PRO) at