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Paddy Carr joins Colm O’Rourke in becoming the second principal of a Navan school to retire from his position to take up an inter-county managers role after the former Walterstown player and manager was revealed as the new Donegal senior football boss last night.

O’Rourke revealed earlier this month that he is retiring as principal of St Patrick’s CS Navan to focus on his position as manager of the Meath senior football team and now Carr has given up his similar position in Colaiste na Mi to take on the manager’s job in Donegal.

Speculation mounted over the weekend that Carr was to be appointed as new Donegal manager with Aidan O’Rourke as head coach and the former Louth management team were confirmed last night as successors to Declan Bonner.

Carr, who won four Meath SFC titles as a player with Walterstown and was also manager of the Meath minors for a spell, is fully focused on giving his all to help restore the fortunes of Donegal.

“I will do everything in my power to facilitate the Donegal senior football team becoming the best version of itself imaginable,” Carr said.

“We are very well aware of the responsibilities that come with this position. I will give my body, soul, heart and mind to the cause of Donegal football.”

Carr and O’Rourke have been appointed for an initial two-year term which will be reviewed at the end of the 2023 campaign and the Walterstown man feels there is huge potential in Donegal.

“We have our expectations. Without a doubt, we believe that there is enormous potential in Donegal. We have to maximise the talent that is there.

“We wouldn’t put ourselves in this position unless we felt that we could drive it forward,” he said.

Carr is from Fanad in north Donegal did play for the Ulster county before moving to Meath and he also played club football with Dublin side Kilmacud Crokes who he guided to an All-Ireland Club SFC title in 2009.

Carr was manager of the Louth team that lost out to Meath in that famous All-Ireland SFC qualifier in 2002.

29-06-2002. Meath v Louth – All-Ireland SFC Qualifier at Páirc Tailteann. Meath Manager Sean Boylan and Louth Manager Paddy Carr shaking hands after the game. Photo: John Quirke /©John Quirke Photography, 16 Proudstown Road, Navan. Co. Meath. ( / 046-9028461 / 087-2579454).
Photo by
John Quirke

O’Rourke, who works as the Performance Sport Manager at Queen’s University, Belfast, was previously on backroom teams in Kildare, Armagh and Down.

“The year ahead is about maximising. That is the total focus. This isn’t about reshaping or anything like that. It’s about finding the small percentage points as best we can,” said O’Rourke who won an All-Ireland with Armagh in 2022.

Carr’s club Walterstown took to Twitter to wish their former player and manager the best of luck in his new role.

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