By Sean Creedon
Republic of Ireland defender Steve Staunton has rejoined Aston Villa. Stan originally joined Villa from Liverpool and spent seven seasons at the club, helping them to win the League Cup in 1994 and ’98.
Earlier this season, Staunton was loaned out to Crystal Palace when he unable to win back his first-team place at Anfield. He returned to Liverpool last month and played in their UEFA Cup first-round tie against Olympiakos, but has now agreed to take a 50 percent drop in wages to move to Villa on a two-and-a-half-year contract.
McDermott for Donegal?
The Meath County Board has denied rumors that star midfielder John McDermott is going to declare for Donegal. McDermott works for Guinness in the Donegal area and there have been suggestions that he was going to play his club football for Ballybofey and also line out for Donegal.
But McDermott has played for Meath in the current League campaign and is tied to his native county for the immediate future.
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"John has not given any indication that he will not continue to be part of the Meath team in the future," said a County Board spokesman. However, McDermott could line out for Donegal in next year’s championship.
Limerick defire Cregan
The Limerick GAA Board has gone against the wishes of manager Eamon Cregan and agreed to play Cork at Pairc Ui Chaoimh in next year’ s Munster Hurling championship. Cregan wanted a neutral venue, such as Killarney or Thurles, but Limerick have agreed to a new home and away arrangement that gives Cork home advantage next year. The game will now go ahead in Cork on May 27 and, naturally, new Cork manager Tom Cashman is delighted.
"A home championship match is always the ideal situation, but it won’t be easy for us," he said.
Two Cavan and two Sligo players have been suspended following the brawl at the end of their recent National Football League games. Cavan’s Rory Donoghue and Ken Killeen of Sligo have both been suspended for 12 games, while Cavan’s Larry Reilly and Sligo’s Paul Durcan have got an eight-week ban.
Both county boards have also been fined £1,500 for the incident, which was featured on RTE’s Sunday night sports show.
Lenihan, O’Keefe tabbed
Donal Lenihan will be the Lions team manager for the trip to Australia next year. And the kitman for the tour to Australia will also be Irish. Lenihan’s Cork Constitution colleague Pat O’Keeffe will be traveling with the squad.
"Donal offered me the position a few weeks back and it took me about four seconds to answer in the affirmative," said the Temple Hill man.
Tyrone big slams Rules
Tyrone County Secretary Dominic McCaughey has had a go at the Compromise Rules series with Australia. McCaughey says that the series does nothing to further the promotion or development of Gaelic football."
McCaughey claims that the series is only of a curiosity value and that the incidents of wanton violence transmit a bad image to young Irish players. He also claims that the Aussies are using the series to attract young Irish players to try their hand at Aussie Rules.
Racehorse trainer John Oxx has been voted Philips Manager of the Year. The Kildare-based trainer won the award for his hat trick of victories with Sinndar. After winning the English and Irish Derbies, Sinndar, ridden by Johnny Murtagh, then went on to take the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October.
Loftus resigns over drink
Former GAA President Dr. Michael Loftus has resigned as president of his local GAA club in Crossmolina in protest over a drinks license application. Loftus, who is also coroner for North Mayo, says that the majority of inquests he presides over are connected to over consumption of alcohol. Crossmolina applied for a bar exemption for the recent Connacht club final.
New Glasgow Celtic signing Neil Lennon can expect abuse from a section of the Windsor Park attendance the next time he lines out for Northern Ireland.
The warning comes from Anton Rogan, the last Celtic player to play for Northern Ireland.
"The first time I played for the North after joining Celtic I had to suffer a torrent of abuse, but it’s only to be expected. But if Neil suffers a similar fate, I think it will be water off a duck’s back to him. He is a class player and a huge hero in Ireland."
Northern Ireland’s next game at Windsor Park is against the Czech Republic on March 25.
Lennon’s prolonged transfer negotiations were completed last week and he finally moved to Celtic from Leicester City for £5.7 million. The talented midfielder made his debut for The Bhoys in the 2-1 triumph over Dundee.