We are delighted to announce the loan signing of striker Ciaran McGuckin from Rotherham United, pending international clearance.

The Northern Ireland U21 international moves to Oriel Park on a loan deal that runs until the summer.

“When I heard that Dundalk might be an option, I got a call going with the gaffer and it went from there,” he told dundalkfc.com.

“He explained everything to me, how he sees me fitting in here and I think I’m really suited to how Dundalk play,” added the 20-year-old.

“I’m a striker who can play down the middle or in off the left or right. I press from the front, I work hard, I like to run in behind and, hopefully, I can score lots of goals.”

After graduating through Rotherham’s youth ranks, McGuckin made his first-team debut for the club in an EFL Trophy win over Manchester City in October 2021.

After signing a professional contract with the Millers in April 2022, he went on loan to National League North outfit Scarborough Athletic, where he scored five goals in 24 league appearances

A regular with Northern Ireland’s U21 side over the last two years, Ciaran made five appearances for Rotherham in the early part of the Championship season and has been involved in their match-day squad for the past four and a half months.

“I’ve been in and around the first team for the last 12 to 18 months and I’ve learned a lot but I knew that I needed to go out and get some game time to help with my development,” he said. “I wanted to do that at a high level and I have that here at Dundalk.”

New loan signing Ciaran McGuckin. Pictures: Ciaran Culligan

One of his teammates at the AESSEAL New York Stadium is former Dundalk striker Georgie Kelly, who urged McGuckin to make the switch to the League of Ireland.

“Georgie couldn’t speak highly enough about the people at the club and the league itself,” he said. “He told me it’s a very competitive league that is growing season by season.”

“Tommy Wright, my manager at Northern Ireland U21s, also spoke to me quite a lot and he was very keen for me to make this move as well.”

Born in Leeds, McGuckin qualifies for Northern Ireland through his father, who won’t have far to travel to watch his son in action for Dundalk.

“I know my accent doesn’t sound like it but, yeah, my dad’s from Belfast and he’s been living in Newry for the last six or seven years,” smiled Ciaran.

“I actually know this area quite well from being over with him and his side of the family and I played at Oriel Park when I was younger with the Northern Ireland underage sides so I’m looking forward to getting back out there in a Dundalk shirt.”

“Ciaran has been on the bench numerous times for Rotherham this season and he had a really good year with Northern Ireland’s U21 side last year,” said Dundalk FC head coach Stephen O’Donnell.

“He can play in any of the front three positions and he will give us pace and lots of work rate which we demand from any player in those positions.

“There’s a personal side to it as well in that his father lives in Newry and can come up and watch him play every week.

“We’d like to thank Rotherham for their cooperation and we’re looking forward to developing Ciaran during his loan spell with us.”