Cork City have signed Celtic youngster Eoghan O’Connell on loan ahead of the start of the 2016 SSE Airtricity League season.

The 20-year-old defender will join the Turner's Cross side until July and will become the third member of the O'Connell clan to play for Cork, following in the footsteps of his father and brother.

O'Connell has made five league appearances for Celtic and admits that he is looking forward to playing for his hometown club. 

“I’m delighted to be back in Cork and I’m really looking forward to getting started and playing," said O'Connell.

“My dad Damien and my brother Andy have both played for the club previously; Andy was here recently enough so I have been asking him about it and I would not be short on knowledge about the club.

“It’s about getting as many games as I can but the main objective is to help Cork City do as well as possible while I am here and try to win as many games as possible.”

City boss John Caulfield said: “We are thrilled to get Eoghan. He can play right across the back four and as a defensive midfielder, so it gives us a lot of options. We were looking to bring in another defensive player and it is something we have been working very hard on for the last few while.

“Celtic have agreed to loan him to us until July; he has been involved with their first team quite a bit and he went out on loan to Oldham but he picked up an injury and they were anxious to get him out on loan to play.”

Meanwhile, the FAI has confirmed that following a meeting of the Independent Club Licensing Committee, 16 Premier Division licences and four First Division licences were awarded for the 2016 SSE Airtricity League season.

Premier Division

Athlone Town, Bohemian, Bray Wanderers, Cork City, Derry City, Drogheda United, Dundalk, Finn Harps, Galway United, Limerick, Longford Town, Shamrock Rovers, Sligo Rovers, St Patrick's Athletic, Waterford United,  Wexford Youths.

First Division:

Cabinteely, Cobh Ramblers, UCD, Shelbourne.