Tuesday 20 February 2018

RTE overlook Carthy for All-Ireland semi-finals

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

RTE's Gaelic games correspondent Brian Carthy will be overlooked for radio commentary duties for each of the four All-Ireland semi-finals in August.

The Irish Independent understands that the roster for all the main matches in August has already been drawn up and the long-serving Roscommon native will not be given any of the four semi-finals that will dominate the station's Sunday afternoon coverage next month.

The move to overlook the Gaelic games correspondent for such important matches will give confirmation to those inter-county managers who feel that his commentary role within the station has been reduced. Instead the radio commentary duties for the four semi-finals, for which RTE have the rights, will be shared between Ger Canning, Darragh Maloney and Marty Morrissey.

In June, a number of managers refused to give interviews to the national broadcaster after a letter they sent to RTE seeking a meeting on the issue did not get a response within the time frame they expected.

As a consequence Mickey Harte, Kieran McGeeney and Justin McNulty all declined to conduct interviews with the station's personnel. It remains to be seen if any further action is taken in response to this latest development.

The station plans its markings well in advance, but so far the commentary duties for the All-Ireland football and hurling finals have not been assigned.

RTE decided not to give the main commentary duties to any one commentator in the wake of Micheal O Muircheartaigh's retirement last year.

Instead, they decided to use their TV commentators for radio duties also, because their live TV schedule had been reduced from 40 games to 31.

Carthy has had only limited commentary roles, but he did have the microphone for last weekend's Connacht final between Mayo and Roscommon.

Harte has been the most vocal of the managers who associated themselves with the letter and has suggested that Carthy's role should have been upgraded instead of being reduced as he saw it.

A response to the original letter was sent by courier to Harte and by the following weekend normal service had resumed, with Brian Cody, one of those thought to be associated with the initial letter, agreeing to a post-match interview after the Kilkenny/ Wexford Leinster semi-final.

Irish Independent

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