Eamon O’Shea has emerged as an early favourite for the position of new Tipperary senior hurling manager as the County Board begins its search for a successor to Declan Ryan.
O’Shea was coach under manager Liam Sheedy when Tipp won the All-Ireland two years ago and is highly regarded both within and outside the county.
However his work commitments are understood to have been behind his decision to leave the post two years ago. The former Kilruane MacDonaghs player is a professor of sociology at NUIG.
Formers managers Liam Sheedy, Nicky English and Ken Hogan have also been mentioned as possible successors to Declan Ryan, who resigned after the team’s heavy defeat by Kilkenny in the All-Ireland Semi-Final.
In a statement on Saturday evening the County GAA Board announced that Ryan, his coach Tommy Dunne and selector Michael Gleeson were stepping down and didn’t wish to be considered for re-appointment having completed their two-year term.
A committee led by County Chairman Sean Nugent has started the search for the new manager. The committee also includes vice-chairman Michael Bourke, secretary Tim Floyd, treasurer Eamon Buckley and PRO Ger Ryan.
They will be assisted by the county’s four divisional chairmen – Roger Kennedy in the west, Joe Brennan in the south, John McGrath in the north and John Devane in the mid.
The announcement that Declan Ryan was stepping down was made just as Tipperary celebrated its defeat of Kilkenny in Saturday’s All-Ireland Intermediate Hurling Final at Semple Stadium.
They were ahead by 12 points at half-time but a tremendous fightback by Kilkenny saw them reduce that lead to just a point, although Tipp held out for a 2-point victory to secure its first All-Ireland in the grade in 12 years.
Tipp have the opportunity to win a second hurling All-Ireland on Sunday when they play Dublin in the Minor decider at Croke Park, a match that will be the curtain-raiser to the senior final between Kilkenny and Galway.
Meanwhile, the County Board and the senior hurling panel have thanked Declan Ryan, Tommy Dunne and Michael Gleeson for leading the county to two Munster senior hurling championship successes and their dedication and commitment in carrying out their roles during the last two years.
“All three men have made a great contribution to the GAA in Tipperary over a long number of years and we are fortunate that men of their calibre have been willing to serve the county so generously and so loyally.
We acknowledge the time, effort and many personal sacrifices they and their families have made in the interests of Tipperary’s senior hurling fortunes and we firmly believe that their good work will lead to continued success for the county”, a statement added.