Goalkeeper Ciaran Gallagher will make his 200th appearance for Finn Harps on this Friday night against Bohemians in a League of Ireland Premier Division game. In doing so the Raphoe native will become only the second Harps keeper to reach that landmark after Gerry Murray who was the first choice between the sticks in the 1970s.
To date Gallagher has made 196 starts for the club along with three appearances from the subs bench. Ciaran’s debut for Harps came as a second-half substitute in a 1-0 defeat against Sporting Fingal at the Morton Stadium in April 2009, just two days after his 17th birthday. On that night he replaced the injured Gavin Cullen. At the end of that season he signed a two-year contract extension. Gallagher made just five league appearances in 2010 but in the following two seasons he played a further 52 times as he became first choice keeper for Harps.
Ciaran opted to move to Derry City prior to the 2014 season after Roddy Collins was appointed manager but only made three league appearances. In November 2014, he re-signed for Harps and played in all of Harps’ 28 league games in the First Division, as well as the play-off matches. It was a very good campaign for Gallagher, keeping 17 clean sheets as the team was promoted to the Premier Division after a marvellous play-off campaign that saw victories over UCD and Limerick.
Last season Ciaran battled it out with Richard Brush for the No. 1 jersey as Harps, against the odds, retained their place in the top flight. The 25-year-old has started all 20 league games this season as Ollie Horgan’s side mount another massive effort to keep their place in the Premier Division. Horgan has paid tribute to the lengthy service that Gallagher has given to Finn Harps despite only being 25 years of age. “Ciaran has played a huge amount of games for Harps when you consider that he is still only 25. He has gained a lot of experience already but he is still a young man with a big career ahead of him” Horgan said.
Gallagher also played for the Republic of Ireland at U17, U18 and U19 level.