Saturday 17 November 2018

GAA managers refuse to talk to RTE over Brian Carthy treatment

Top GAA bosses vow not to speak to broadcaster after Carthy 'snub'

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

A bizarre row has broken out between some of the country's top managers and RTE over what the bosses feel is unfair treatment of the national broadcaster's Gaelic games radio correspondent Brian Carthy.

Many high-profile managers are refusing to conduct interviews with RTE because they feel he has not been treated well in the wake of Micheal O Muircheartaigh's departure as GAA anchor.

Mickey Harte, Kieran McGeeney and Justin McNulty are among those who have taken a vow of silence with the station over the issue.

Harte and Carthy have developed a strong personal friendship over the years. Harte declined to speak to RTE's reporters after Sunday's victory over Monaghan in Omagh, while McGeeney and McNulty did not make themselves available for interview in Croke Park.

There is strong speculation that up to seven more managers will opt out of interviews because of the situation.

Carthy has been largely overlooked for the main match commentaries since the beginning of the championship season as RTE have deployed a versatile approach to replacing O Muircheartaigh, who retired after last autumn's International Rules series.

As the next most regular radio commentator at the station, Carthy might have been expected to fill the void.

But instead RTE have looked to some of their established TV commentators for radio commentary, men such as Marty Morrissey, Ger Canning and Darragh Moloney.

On Sunday, Carthy was assigned to Pairc Ui Chaoimh for the Cork v Waterford Munster football semi-final, hardly the most appetising fixture of the day. Cork manager Conor Counihan spoke to Carthy after the game, but there are unconfirmed reports that he, too, may join the stand-off.

So far in this championship season, Carthy has had very little air time to commentate and the managers have taken a dim view of this. Carthy is clearly well respected among the managers and the fact that this is also affecting RTE's TV coverage, impacts not just on the station, but, potentially, the GAA and their championship sponsorship partners too.

Two years ago a GPA-backed withdrawal of co-operation with broadcasters on the weekend of the Leinster football and Munster hurling finals was designed to fast-track negotiations for official recognition of the players' organisation.

Irish Independent

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