Mike Quirke has resigned as Laois manager in the wake of a heavy Leinster Football Championship defeat to Westmeath yesterday.

Quirke was critical of his players after the humiliating 3-20 to 1-10 loss and in his statement admitted it was a "difficult slog" in his time in charge. They also lost four league games and were relegated this year.

Quirke said: "I'd like to express my sincere appreciation to all players, management and backroom team for their unwavering effort over the past two Covid ravaged inter-county seasons. It's been a difficult slog at times, but made far more enjoyable by the quality of the people involved.

"The players have shown fantastic commitment towards representing their county in the best possible way through very challenging circumstances and despite not getting the performances or results we craved this season, they can be proud of the effort and application they've shown throughout.

"I'd made my decision at this stage to allow the county board ample time to find new management in advance of county championship action resuming in the county in the coming weeks and months."

Laois GAA thanked Quirke, described him as "a gentleman to the core" and said he gave everything to the cause.

The Kerry native took over for the 2020 season and Laois preserved their Division 2 status before beating Longford and then losing to Dublin in championship.

The O'Mooore men were relegated in this year's Allianz Football League campaign after losing a play-off to Down.