Aodhan Gallagher has surprisingly quit the Antrim panel ahead of Saturday’s All-Ireland SFC third round qualifier against Tipperary.
The team captain came on in last weekend’s win over Galway at Casement Park and scored a point and normally operates at either midfield or on the half-forward line.
The secondary school teacher has been part of the Antrim panel for a number of years after a successful club career with St. Galls. The club has won the county championship ten times in the past eleven years and added the All-Ireland club title in 2010. He has cited personal reasons for his departure.
“He confided in us he is experiencing some personal issues at present. He has decided that he has no option but to withdraw from the panel as he cannot give the necessary commitment,” manager Liam Bradley said, who added that he hopes Gallagher’s circumstances will improve so he can return to the game
While Gallagher has withdrawn his services, Antrim liaison officer Tony McCollum has indicated that the door will remain open should the player have a change of heart. “Aodhan has given superb service to Antrim and we are sorry to lose him, but we respect his decision,” said McCollum, “We would hope that he might return, though — he will always be welcome.”
His departure follows that of Paddy Cunningham. The sharp shooter has been top scorer for the Saffrons for a number of seasons, but Bradley simply say that the forward “is no longer part of the panel”.