Waterford first-up for Dempsey’s Limerick football odyssey

Joint Limerick captains Iain Corbett and Donal O'Sullivan

RAY DEMPSEY’S opening fixture as new Limerick Senior Football manager will be against Waterford in the McGrath Cup at Mick Neville Park, Rathkeale, next Wednesday (7pm). 

The competition is split into two groups, one of which comprises of All-Ireland champions Kerry, Cork, and Clare, while Limerick are in with Waterford and Tipperary who are their next opponents in mid-January.

The group winners will meet each other in the final on January 18.

Limerick have won the McGrath Cup on seven occasions, the most recent being a shock final defeat of Cork at the Gaelic Grounds in 2020. 

Dempsey, successor to Billy Lee, has assembled a strong backroom team, one which includes fellow Mayo man Martin Barrett and former Kerry All-Star Anthony Maher, along with locals Eoin Joy of Fr Casey’s, Kildimo/Pallaskenry’s John Chawke, and Mike Downey of Castlemahon. 

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

On his appointment, Limerick GAA commented: “Ray has vast experience with his club Knockmore, winning the past two Mayo Senior Football Championships and has previously managed Mayo Minor and Under 21 Football teams and will come to Limerick on a two-year term. He also had an impressive playing career with Mayo, commanding 64 appearances.”

Dempsey said: “I am looking forward to the challenge and am hugely excited to be working with the group of players and building on their achievements of the last number of years.”

Limerick has also a new Football Committee Chairman in Wayne Fitzgerald of Gerarld Griffins, who had served of late as secretary. 

Iain Corbett of Newcastle West and Monaleen’s Donal O’Sullivan are likely to continue as joint captains of Limerick into 2023. 

Rathkeale is also likely to be the venue for most Limerick’s home fixtures in the National Football League, with the notable exception being the visit from Dublin which is pencilled-in for the TUS Gaelic Grounds at the start of February.