Finn Harps manager Ollie Horgan has this afternoon formally confirmed the signing of Ciaran O’Connor from Dundalk on a six-month loan deal. The 20-year-old striker had been training with Harps over the past couple of weeks and scored in last week’s pre-season friendly win over the Inishowen League at Maginn Park. However, the paperwork to finalise the loan deal was only completed today.
“It took a little while to get the paperwork completed but we’re just pleased now that Ciaran is officially a member of the squad for the new season. He’s a young lad who already has great experience being part of a Dundalk squad that has won the Premier Division and did so well in Europe. I know Ciaran only got a handful of first team games last season but it was very difficult to get in with the likes of Daryl Horgan, Ciaran Kilduff and David McMillan playing so well. Hopefully now with us he will get the chance to show what he can do. It’s important that we have competition for places up front so getting the best out of Ciaran and Danny Morrissey is vital for us this season” Horgan said.
O’Connor came through the underage ranks at Dundalk and was first involved with the first team in 2013, scoring in a friendly against Glentoran in June of that year. Weeks later he signed an 18 month professional contract with the club and made his first team competitive debut in a Leinster Senior Cup tie against Shamrock Rovers. Ciaran was part of Dundalk’s U19 squad for their 2013/2014 season and remained part of the club’s first team squad in 2014.
His first team outings were limited to Cup competition in 2014 before joining Warrenpoint Town FC on loan where the striker scored five goals in 17 appearances. O’Connor returned to Dundalk for the 2015 season. He scored his first senior goal, in a Leinster Senior Cup win away to Wexford Youths. Ciaran was also on the mark twice from four appearances in cup competitions before going on loan to Derry City in July of that season.
Ciaran scored three goals in 10 league appearances for Derry and returned to Dundalk making his league debut, away to Longford Town in early April. By the end of the season O’Connor had made five league appearances with the Lilywhites winning their third league title in a row.