Sunday 25 February 2018

Criticism of Mickey Harte has been 'personal and unfair' - Peter Canavan

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte
Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

PETER Canavan has described criticism of Mickey Harte and Tyrone in recent weeks as "unfair" and believes this week's Ulster U-21 success will lift some of the pressure off them.

"Tyrone have been on the receiving end of a lot of unfair criticism this past two or three weeks and some of it has been very personal as well," Canavan said.

"I think the seniors put up a very spirited display against Kerry on Sunday and they deserved something out of it.

"A lot of supporters were disappointed leaving Omagh that we were relegated but hopefully this (Ulster U-21 title) will rejuvenate everybody in the county."

Canavan was part of a Tyrone team that won back-to-back All-Ireland U-21 in 1991 and '92. The Red Hands again landed consecutive U-21 titles in 2000 and '01, which all laid the platform for their senior breakthrough in 2003.

Canavan and Brian Dooher are now selectors with the county U-21s, who are managed by Fergal Logan.

Their Ulster final victory over Donegal midweek provided Tyrone's first trophy at that level since 2006 and helped lift the gloom left this week by the seniors' relegation from Division 1 and the subsequent departure of four players from the panel.

Shay McGuigan, younger brother of Brian and Tommy, was one of those who has departed and told Gaelic Life that he left because of "pure frustration" at not getting a game.

"It's the same boys every week, they're getting their chances and you're not getting yours," McGuigan said. "I was putting in the same work as they were but wasn't getting out on the field.

"The Donegal game I thought I'd definitely get a chance, because we were struggling, yet I still didn't get the nod," he said, adding that not playing against Kerry in the final round was the last straw for him.

Elsewhere, Kildare county board, who have been paying back a heavy debt in recent seasons, have become the latest to run a music concert in their county grounds to raise funds.

The gig, billed as 'Kildare Goes Country', will take place in St Conleth's Park, Newbridge on Sunday, June 14 and features a lot of Ireland's top country singers. Tickets will be €25 or €20 if pre-booked.

Meanwhile, Offaly's Sinead Daly (NUIG) and Laois' Laurie Marie Maher (Mary Immaculate College) were among the first 12 recipients of third-level scholarships from the Women's Gaelic Players' Association (WGPA) yesterday.

Irish Independent

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