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Sudden exit was a 'bombshell' to board - Shanley


Dublin County Board chairman Seán Shanley

Dublin County Board chairman Seán Shanley

Dublin County Board chairman Seán Shanley

Jim Gavin's decision to call time on his Dublin tenure came as a "bombshell" to the county board hierarchy, according to Seán Shanley.

The Dublin chairman had no advance warning that Gavin was about to pull the plug on his seven-year reign of splendour.

"Jim rang John Costello early Saturday morning and he said he wanted to have a chat with him," Shanley revealed. "And that was it … it was a bombshell to John Costello too.

"John Costello rang me and told me the news, and Jim met the team then about half-twelve (on Saturday) and broke the news to them, and that was it."


Just over a month ago, when last interviewed by The Herald, Shanley had indicated the board's strong belief that Gavin was poised to recommit.

"The way he's inquiring and talking about fixtures for the league and that, I'd say he is definitely staying on," he said at the time.

Very little, it appeared, had changed in the interim and Saturday's news came "totally out of the blue".

"Now, Jim hadn't said he was staying or he hadn't said he was going since the All-Ireland. There was no comment. I think nobody was asking him directly," Shanley clarified.

The timing of Gavin's exit - 11 weeks after Dublin's replay triumph against Kerry - leaves the All-Ireland champions in the unusual position of being the last county with a managerial vacancy to fill.

That will add urgency to what happens next, with Dublin chiefs set to initiate the process of finding the best available candidate tonight.

"We have a management meeting Monday night, which was meant to happen anyway before this news broke," Shanley outlined.

"We'll discuss it then and we'll have a county committee meeting, I think on Thursday night, and they'll give permission for management to seek a new manager.

"Just a few - usually three people - off the management committee will interview everyone that's interested."

The intention is to fill the vacancy before Christmas.

"It needs to be done because the national league starts on January 25," Shanley acknowledged.

While the timing of the manager's exit may be less than ideal, the Dublin chief is confident that there are plenty of "high-calibre" candidates out there.

"It's going to be hard shoes to fill. But, having said that, we've had successful managers at U21 and minor. Plus we've had a lot of players now that have the experience of All-Ireland finals," he said.

"Yeah, it will be a difficult decision all right (choosing) who's the best man for the job. But we've just got to talk to them, see what their ideas are and who they'll be bringing with them."

Shanley steps down as chairman at Dublin's annual convention on December 12, his own five-year tenure having neatly coincided with Gavin's history-making five-in-a-row.