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Bad Blood Between Tyrone And RTÉ Will Not Halt For All-Ireland Final

Bad Blood Between Tyrone And RTÉ Will Not Halt For All-Ireland Final
By PJ Browne
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RTÉ say that Tyrone GAA has declined an invitation to take part in its All-Ireland football final coverage.

The broken relationship between the national broadcaster and Tyrone is now in its seventh year.

"Last week RTÉ Sport extended the same invitation to Tyrone GAA that it has to Dublin GAA, and all previous All Ireland finalists with regard to participation in RTÉ coverage across television, radio and digital platforms," reads a statement from RTÉ.

"This included pre-match, day of match at Croke Park, and post match interviews.

"Tyrone GAA have informed RTÉ Sport that the Tyrone management and players do not wish to participate in any such media activity with RTE and we respect that decision.

"RTÉ Sport will now continue with its planning and preparation and we wish both Tyrone GAA and Dublin GAA the very best of luck in the final.


"We will be making no further comment on this issue."


The relationship between RTÉ and Tyrone was first hurt in 2011 when a letter which Mickey Harte sent to Montrose was leaked to journalists. In the letter, Harte has expressed concern regarding Brian Carthy's absence from his Gaelic games commentary role.

In addition, a sketch which was broadcast on RTÉ's John Murray Show was viewed as being insensitive by Harte. It was done so six months after Harte's daughter Michaela was murdered in Mauritius.

In August 2011, the Tyrone management team explained their position in a statement.


A number of weeks ago the Senior Football Manager in conjunction with several other GAA managers wrote a letter marked Private and Confidential to two senior people within the RTÉ organisation.

In this letter Mickey Harte expressed his own and a number of other managers' concern at the disproportionate absence of Brian Carthy from his role as a radio commentator. The contents of the letter made their way into the public domain and the managers' concerned can categorically state that they were not the source of that leak.

Due to the portrayal of the said letter, at least one other broadcaster within the organisation acted in a most insensitive manner in the choice of their programme dialogue in a morning radio show soon after.

Inappropriate references to the fact that the Tyrone manager Mickey Harte was associated with the Dali Lama conference in Limerick and the choice of the song "Pretty Little Girl from Omagh" will give you an indication of the complete lack of sensitivity the presenter in question afforded the Harte family and Michaela's husband John McAreavey, in what remains for them a very difficult time.

We hope that this statement clarifies for the general public why Mickey Harte, his management team and the players have chosen not to co-operate with RTÉ at this time.

Interviews with all other media outlets will continue as before.

At the time, RTÉ said the sketch had not been intended to offend Harte.

Since then, Tyrone management and players have refused to give interviews to RTÉ.

Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile


Watch: Shane Dowling's Post-Match Interview Was Worth A Lifetime's Wait

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