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Saturday 21 October 2017

GAA star Cathal McCarron won't appear on Late Late show to talk about new book

Ryan Tubridy, host of the late Late Show and inset Cathal McCarron
Ryan Tubridy, host of the late Late Show and inset Cathal McCarron
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

RTÉ have said they will not be featuring controversial GAA star Cathal McCarron on the Late Late show - days after the father of a 15-year-old girl he met after matching on Tinder complained.

On Friday Independent.ie revealed how the dad was furious with McCarron's scheduled appearance on the flagship show next Friday.

McCarron took to twitter on Thursday to confirm he was due to be interviewed by Ryan Tubridy on October 28 - almost a year to the day after he met with the girl in Co Kildare. The footballer was set to talk about his new biography in which he details a colourful past including appearing in gay pornography and a history of serious gambling debts.

The Kildare man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said he felt like the Tyrone GAA star was cashing in on the meeting with his daughter.

He had contacted the state broadcaster on Friday to complain about the TV chat.

In a candid interview he added that he was willing to travel to RTE studios in Donnybrook to stop an interview from taking place.

28 June 2015; Cathal McCarron, Tyrone, in action Limerick. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship, Round 1B, Tyrone v Limerick. Healy Park, Omagh, Co. Tyrone. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
28 June 2015; Cathal McCarron, Tyrone, in action Limerick. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship, Round 1B, Tyrone v Limerick. Healy Park, Omagh, Co. Tyrone. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

But now Independent.ie has learned that a senior producer has contacted the concerned father to assure him that McCarron will not be appearing on next week's show.

A spokesperson for RTE said that the lineup for each week's show is not confirmed until midweek, and that the Tyrone footballer was not a confirmed guest.

On Friday the father told Independent.ie: “To write the book so soon after the incident and to not express any remorse. What does that tell you? It feels like he wants to cash in on what he’s done.”

He added: “I rang RTE and all other stations and begged them not to do any interviews with him. I emailed the complaints department RTE but all I got was a letter confirming the receipt of my email."

In his book McCarron describes meeting the girl on his way to a Gambler's Anonymous meeting
In his book McCarron describes meeting the girl on his way to a Gambler's Anonymous meeting

In his recently published biography 'Out of Control' McCarron admitted that he started using the dating site Tinder in October 2015, despite being in a long-term relationship.

He says that “temptation” and “curiosity” drove him to use the app.

After a few weeks of conversing with women online he decided to meet up with one of them.

“I was texting this girl from Kildare, We arranged to meet that night in Kildare town. I was on my way to a GA [Gamblers Anonymous] meeting in Athy. I know the contradiction is ridiculous.

“The girl said she drove an old-style Jaguar. She sent me a picture of the car. I think it was red.”

He explained that she had spoken about college and he told her about his job during “harmless online chat”.

“When we met she looked at least nineteen or twenty.”

McCarron claims that the first time he realised the girl was in fact 15 was two weeks later when her father called him at work.

He said that when he learned this “a weakness came over” him.

“I was in shock. I also felt I hadn’t the right to say anything to the man. Part of me could understand his anger.”

He admits that a week later he was interviewed by two gardaí in Kildare station about the incident. This was the same night as the GAA All Stars function in the Convention Centre in Dublin.

He said: “I made a mistake, but this was the most innocent misjudgement I ever made.”

In July of this year the DPP decided not to prosecute McCarron over the case and in a letter sent to the girl’s parents a senior prosecutor outlines that the defence of “honest mistake” was accepted by the office.

“In this case there was evidence to support this defence. The suspect and your daughter initially made contact on a website that required legal age to be on the website of 18 years of age. Her Facebook page had a date of birth which showed her to be 19 years of age. The suspect said he believed her to be 19 years of age.

“The lawyer concluded that it would not be possible for the prosecution to overcome this defence and that therefore there was no reasonable prospect of a conviction.”

All Ireland winner McCarron's possible appearance on the Late Late show was also controversial for another reason.

Tyrone GAA has had an unofficial boycott of the state broadcaster since 2011 over a dispute between manager Mickey Harte and RTÉ.

McCarron took to Twitter on Thursday to claim that his appearance would not be in contravention to this.

He wrote: "I would like to clarify that my appearance on the Late Late Show on Friday week is entirely my decision and has nothing to do with Mickey Harte and the Tyrone senior football squad's continued withdrawal of cooperation with RTE.

"This is a completely separate issue to me appearing on the show to speak about my autobiography 'Out of Control'."

Cathal McCarron tweet.jpg
A tweet sent out by Cathal McCarron this week

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