JAMES O’Connor, who led Fr O’Neill’s to Premier Intermediate glory last season, is leaving the East Cork club to become the new coach of All-Ireland senior club champions Ballyhale Shamrocks.
The Waterford native will be taking over from a Ballyhale and Kilkenny icon: Henry Shefflin.
Shefflin stepped down from the position after leading the Kilkenny and Leinster kingpins to another All-Ireland championship last month after they defeated Borrisleigh at Croke Park.
O’Connor guided O’Neill’s to GAA headquarters as well, but the East Cork outfit fell just short, hindered by suspensions to key players Mark O’Keeffe and Billy Dunne.
He has a proven track record here on Leeside and was coach of Carrigtwohill when they won the Cork County Senior Hurling Championship title in 2011 after being rank outsiders that year.
He leaves O’Neill’s in a very strong position as they begin life as a senior club in Cork for the first time in their history.
O’Neill’s had their victory dinner last Saturday night in Garryvoe Hotel and they will meet shortly to discuss the appointment of a new coach.