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Mayo’s Ray Dempsey linked to Limerick football vacancy

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Ray Dempsey led Knockmore to two Mayo SFC titles. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Ray Dempsey led Knockmore to two Mayo SFC titles. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Ray Dempsey led Knockmore to two Mayo SFC titles. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Ray Dempsey has emerged as a potential candidate to become the next Limerick football manager.

Knockmore boss Dempsey, having come up short in his recent bid to succeed James Horan in his native Mayo, has now been linked with the vacancy on Shannonside.

He lost out in Mayo to Kevin McStay, despite putting forward a strong backroom team that included Armagh All-Ireland winner Oisín McConville, former Kerry goalkeeper Declan O’Keeffe, former All-Ireland-winning Mayo minor manager Enda Gilvarry, four-time Mayo All-Star Keith Higgins and James Burke, part of Horan’s management team during his second coming.

McConville was subsequently appointed Wicklow manager. Now it appears Dempsey could be in line for the Limerick post vacated by Billy Lee back in August, although it’s unclear just how far advanced discussions are at this stage.

Lee stepped down after six seasons, despite leading Limerick to promotion from Division 3 last spring and then reaching this year’s Munster final, where they suffered a chastening defeat to eventual All-Ireland champions Kerry.

When contacted, a Limerick GAA spokesperson had no managerial update to report other than that a sub-committee was established three weeks ago to source a new manager, and a full county board meeting is due to take place next Tuesday.

As a Mayo player, Dempsey featured in two losing All-Ireland finals – in 1989 and ’96 – while he subsequently managed his county at minor and U-21 level.

His recent claims to the senior hotseat were bolstered by his achievements with Knockmore, winning back-to-back Mayo SFC titles in 2020 and ’21. However, their hat-trick bid came unstuck last weekend when they lost narrowly to Castlebar Mitchels at the quarter-final stage.

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