| 15.5°C Dublin

Cunningham appointed new Dublin hurling boss

WHAT has been an open secret in recent days was officially confirmed last night when Leeside legend Ger Cunningham (pictured) was installed as Dublin's new hurling manager for a three-year term.

In a coincidental twist of timing, Cunningham's former Cork comrade Jimmy Barry Murphy yesterday agreed to stay on for a further two years in charge of the Rebels.

The two erstwhile colleagues will now lock managerial horns in the third round of next year's NHL Division 1A, in the capital on March 7.

Cunningham (53) was last night ratified by the Dublin county committee, with his selectors yet to be appointed. He succeeds another Munster icon, Clare's Anthony Daly, having overcome competition from - among others - Shay Boland, Mattie Kenny and Liam Hogan.

"This is another chapter in Ger's distinguished GAA life and I wish him every success in his new role," said Dublin chairman Andy Kettle. "I am confident that Ger will build on the progress achieved by his predecessors over the next three years."

As a goalkeeper, the St Finbarr's clubman had few peers and represented Cork from 1981 until his retirement in January '99, making 50 SHC appearances, winning three All-Ireland medals and four All Stars.

Cunningham's most recent inter-county role was as selector/coach to the JBM-managed Cork side that contested last year's All-Ireland final. He stepped down at the end of last season and was subsequently linked with the Limerick vacancy that ultimately went jointly to TJ Ryan and Donal O'Grady.