BY CHRIS MCNULTY
RORY Gallagher has been paired against his native Fermanagh in the 2015 Dr McKenna Cup.
The new Donegal manager will be up against his home county in the early-season competition with opposition in the form of Derry and Queen’s University also helping to get his tenure off and running.
Last Friday night, Gallagher was confirmed as the successor to Jim McGuinness in the job. The 36-year-old, who assisted McGuinness in 2011, 2012 and 2013, before their parting of ways last autumn, was given the unanimous backing of the county’s clubs at a specially-convened meeting of the county committee in Ballybofey.
Gallagher, who hails from Belleek, lives in Killybegs and was joint manager of Kilcar, alongside John McNulty, this year.
The draw for the McKenna Cup was made on Wednesday evening in Belfast.
Neighbours Derry and Fermanagh will be joined by QUB in Section B of the competition, run in association with new title sponsors Bank of Ireland, whose sponsorship was announced at Wednesday’s function.
Speaking at the announcement of the major sponsorship package last night, Ulster GAA President Martin McAviney said: “The Dr. McKenna Cup is a fantastic opportunity for our supporters to get back out and follow their County teams after the winter break and will once again provide the opportunity for County and University teams to prepare for their upcoming Ulster Championship and Sigerson Cup campaigns respectively.
“The Dr. McKenna Cup has a rich history dating back to the first competition in 1927, and I look forward to working with Bank of Ireland to further enhance the prestige and standing of the competition in the coming years. In 2014 we had well over 60,000 supporters supporting their Counties at the competition and we look forward to another exciting series of games in January.”
The Bank of Ireland Dr. McKenna Cup will throw in on Monday 4th January and will once again feature all nine Ulster Counties and Ulster’s three main University teams; University of Ulster Jordanstown, Queen’s University Belfast and St Mary’s University College Belfast.
Ulster GAA are again selling a limited number of competition tickets for the 2015 Dr McKenna Cup. This will permit you access to Round 1, Round 2 and Round 3 games involving your team, both semi finals and the final for just £20/€25. The fixtures for the competition will be confirmed by the Ulster CCC over the coming days.
2015 Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup draw
Section A: UUJ, Down, Cavan, Monaghan
Section B: QUB, Fermanagh, Donegal, Derry
Section C: St Mary’s, Armagh, Antrim, Tyrone
Section A Winners v Section B Winners
Section C Winners v Best Runner Up
Bank of Ireland Dr. McKenna Cup 2015 fixture Schedule:
Sunday 4th January: Round 1 Games
Sunday 11th January: Round 2 Games
Wednesday 14th January: Round 3 Games
Sunday 18th January: Semi Finals
Saturday 24th January: Final
On his visit on Saturday last to the North West region Taoiseach Leo Varadkar T.D. confirmed his commitment...