Rory Gallagher is stepping back as Derry GAA senior football manager just days after his estranged wife Nicola Gallagher made public accusations of domestic violence on social media.
"I have advised Derry GAA that I am stepping back as Derry Senior football Manager with immediate effect,” Gallagher said in a statement today, Friday, May 12.
"This decision is borne out of a desire to protect my children from the ongoing turmoil. They will always be my priority."
Derry GAA confirmed on Friday that Ciaran Meenagh will be assuming the role of Derry senior football manager. Derry is due to play Armagh in the Ulster GAA Football Senior Championship final this Sunday, May 14.
The day before Gallagher's announcement, Ulster GAA Provincial Secretary and CEO Brian McAvoy said: “While we cannot comment or make judgment on any specific allegation or allegations, Ulster GAA does not condone any form of domestic violence.
"We are proud to have joined with White Ribbon NI in pledging to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.
"We encourage and support anyone who has been a victim of such abuse not to suffer in silence but to avail of the statutory and voluntary support services that are available in the community.”
In a lengthy public social media post on Tuesday, May 9, Nicola Gallagher opened up about her abuse "because I want any other young girl being abused is that silence is not the answer."
“I forgave that man and I married him," Nicola said in her post which has received more than 2.1k comments. "People like that don't change."
Nicola wrote that she was “beat into an inch of my life for no reason,” “bitten on the face,” “dragged up the street by the hair while constantly been hit,” “thumped and winded,” and “thrown down the stairs.”
"My pregnancies never changed the violence," she added.
She ended her post: “Silence isn't the answer, I tried that, I thought I was protecting my children, the only person I was protecting was him.
“Please anyone who's been through this, speak out. Silence nearly killed me.”
Two days after Nicola published her post, Rory Gallagher responded in a statement issued through his solicitor: "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 four 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.
“Following long running court proceedings in Family Courts in both jurisdictions, I was granted a full Residence Order in respect of our three young children on February 17, 2023. This outcome was recommended by social services."
According to the Irish Times, a spokesperson for Northern Ireland's Public Prosecution Service (PPS) said on Thursday that it received two investigation files from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) in January and June 2022.
“All the available evidence in these two files was considered in line with the PPS Code for Prosecutors," the spokesperson said.
“It was determined that there was insufficient evidence to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction for any offence in relation to any individual.
“Decisions not to prosecute any individual issued in January 2022 and September 2022.”
A PSNI spokeswoman subsequently confirmed police “investigated a number of reported incidents” and files were submitted to the PPS.