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Gallagher: 'Allegations against me have been investigated and dealt with by the relevant authorities.' Tom Maher/INPHO
Rory Gallagher

SDLP MLA calls on Derry manager Rory Gallagher to 'stand aside' following domestic abuse allegations

Northern Ireland’s Public Prosecution Service decided not to pursue the claims due to a lack of evidence.

LAST UPDATE | May 12th 2023, 5:18 PM

A DERRY SDLP MLA has called on the Derry senior football manager Rory Gallagher to ‘step aside’ ahead of this Sunday’s Ulster Final following domestic abuse allegations against him.

Gallagher publicly responded to the allegations this week after Nicola Gallagher, his estranged wife, published details of a series of alleged domestic incidents in a post on social media.

He said that “allegations against me have been investigated and dealt with by the relevant authorities”.

The SDLP’s Cara Hunter today called on Gallagher to” stand aside” as a result of the allegations of domestic violence that were made against him.

Hunter said: “Given the seriousness of the issues exposed this week, I do not believe it is appropriate for Rory Gallagher to lead the Derry team ahead of the Ulster Final. He should do the right thing and stand aside.

“There are women and girls across our community and across Ireland who will not be able to support his leadership of the team.” 

Domestic abuse allegations against Gallagher were not pursued in the courts due to a lack of evidence.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) investigated a number of reported incidents, and submitted files to the Public Prosecution Service on two separate occasions in 2022.

The PPS received investigation files in January and June 2022, but it was concluded that there was insufficient evidence to pursue the matter in the courts.

Gallagher was appointed Derry football manager in 2019, with his side set to face Armagh in the Ulster football final this Sunday afternoon in Clones.

Derry GAA said that it “condemns all forms of domestic violence”, while Ulster GAA CEO Brian McAvoy said that “while we cannot comment or make judgement on any specific allegation or allegations, Ulster GAA does not condone any form of domestic violence.”

In a statement issued through his solicitors on Wednesday night, Gallagher said:

“I have been made aware of a social media post by my estranged wife Nicola Gallagher in which she has made a number of very serious allegations against me.

“Our marriage broke down over 4 years ago. Those closest to our family are well aware of the reasons for the breakdown of our marriage and the continued issues we have faced since that time.”

He added: “Allegations against me have been investigated and dealt with by the relevant authorities.

“My focus over the past 4 years has been to protect our children from the ongoing turmoil in our family.

“I have left this matter in the hands of my legal team and ask that the privacy of our family is respected at this time. I will not be making any further public comment on this matter.”

Written by The 42 Team with additional reporting from Press Association and posted on the42.ie