Tuesday 21 November 2017

Managers end RTE boycott as Harte denies Carthy 'ultimatum'

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The stand-off between some of the GAA's top managers and RTE over Brian Carthy's commentary duties is over.

Kilkenny's Brian Cody and Leitrim's Mickey Moran, who were both understood to be associated with Tyrone manager Mickey Harte's concern over Carthy's position within the station, both spoke to the national broadcaster after their championship matches over the weekend.

Harte acknowledged that the position of the managers, three of whom had declined to speak with the broadcaster on the previous weekend, had softened.

But he launched a blistering attack on media outlets which, he felt, had not properly understood the managers' position.

The Tyrone manager insisted that their refusal to conduct interviews was a reaction to the failure of RTE to respond to a letter which had been sent two weeks earlier, not an attempt to influence them.

"There are a few things I want to clear up. For much of last week we have read nothing but easy-street and lazy journalism," he said.

"People got an opinion, hopped on a bandwagon and basically ran with this notion that we were holding RTE over a barrel or holding them to ransom. That is absolutely so far off the mark.

"Did anyone bother to try to source the letter we sent RTE? Where does it say in the letter that we tried to tell RTE what to do? The strongest tone we used in that letter was that we respectfully requested a chat with them so we could get our views on Brian across.

"People might say it's none of our business but as GAA people and managers who love the game we just didn't think that was good practice.

"There was no anger or ultimatum. We were concerned about it and so a group of us decided to do something about it.

"There was no question of us trying to lay down the law. I've had to listen to media people saying they wouldn't dream of telling me how to pick the Tyrone team but they are completely missing the point.

"We just wanted the opportunity to meet the RTE people and make a few points. It was a polite and respectful request."

Irish Independent

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