Saturday 3 December 2016

Tomás Ó Sé: If you want coverage that's all sweetness and light Aogán, try the Disney Channel

Published 28/08/2015 | 02:30

24 August 2015; Pictured is Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Aogán Ó Fearghail speaking at the GAA Super Games Centre Research Results Launch which tackled drop out of youth players within the GAA. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE
24 August 2015; Pictured is Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Aogán Ó Fearghail speaking at the GAA Super Games Centre Research Results Launch which tackled drop out of youth players within the GAA. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE

I have to express my disappointment with the comments of GAA president Aogán ó Fearghail in relation to the "tiresome" nature of 'The Sunday Game' coverage earlier this week. I feel he is wrong in his assessment.

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I make this point in the knowledge that I'm on the inside looking out now and people might say, 'Well he would say that anyway, he's working for them'.

But I've been on the other side of the fence too when the microscope had focused hard on some of my misdemeanours.

In the 2010 Munster final against Limerick, I went 'buck ape' in the first half, not sure if I even got a yellow card and the entire half-time broadcast was spent analysing why I should have been sent off. There was more of it later on that night.

I subsequently picked up a suspension and missed the All-Ireland quarter-final against Down.

Would I have preferred that it wasn't highlighted? Of course.

But my point is these things simply have to be analysed. Negative play is a part of our game, has an impact on it whether we like it or not, and you can't sugarcoat it otherwise.

And I'm sorry, but some of the more distasteful elements of the recent Tyrone-Monaghan quarter-final had to be highlighted too.

They were the biggest talking points afterwards and it's that conversation, not pundits, who set that agenda. Neither Tyrone nor Monaghan could have been proud of their behaviour that day.

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I can't speak for print journalists but within the walls of RTé, during my time there, I have never detected any sense of a conspiracy against Tyrone.

There has never been a direction to go 'heavy' or take a particular line on a specific incident.

Personally, I have great time for Tyrone GAA and Mickey Harte, especially the team that beat us three times during the Noughties.

The county has shipped some criticism but the fact is some of their teams have faced allegations of unsavoury behaviour already this year.

I find it wholly 'unpresidential' that Aogán should reference, in the public domain, the next contract talks as part of his critique of the current programme.

If he has an issue with any particular person or line he should have come out and said it. And anyway there are surely other avenues through which to express these views.

Maybe it's 'Disney Channel' coverage the president wants, where everything is all sweetness and light.

But that's not the game that I'm familiar with.

Irish Independent

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