Wednesday 21 February 2018

'Sunday Game' more about 'razzmatazz than considered opinion' – Harte

Mickey Harte
Mickey Harte
Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

TYRONE boss Mickey Harte has added his voice to the criticism of RTE'S 'Sunday Game' analysis this summer, saying "it seems to be that a bit of razzmatazz is more important now than considered opinion."

Sligo football manager Kevin Walsh and their county board were strongly critical of comments made by ex-county player Eamonn O'Hara on the show last week after their shock defeat by London.

Harte, whose side were knocked out of Ulster by reigning All-Ireland champions Donegal last weekend, said: "what happened on Sunday night was irresponsible and out of order.

"It was not the place to be speaking in that way, especially when the person who was being spoken against hadn't even a chance to defend himself.

"Sweeping statements are made regularly that cannot be substantiated and they're not fair to the people who are committing so much of their time and energy to the promotion of the games.

"It's very much just criticising what's happening, rather than being constructively critical," he continued.

"By all means allude to things that could be done better, but we need to start on a positive note first before we go to the fault-finders.

"People need to get back to talking about what's good about football and what they actually see.

"I'd prefer honesty to all that other stuff," Harte added. "I'd like people to be honest and respectful in what they do and say. If that was the case, then we'd appreciate it very much more."

"It's all well and good taking broad sweeps at people. Those people who are receiving it may be able to cope with it but they are part of a wider family and a community who may not like it so well.

"If what you're saying is disrespectful, or could be disrespectful to people, then you really need to think about what you're saying," added Harte.

Ulster coach Martin McElkennon also chipped in, accusing RTE of deliberately courting controversy to increase ratings.

Meanwhile, the Magheracloone club player who received an eight-week suspension from the Monaghan County Board for alleged sectarian abuse has had his ban lifted by Ulster Council.

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice has lambasted the GAA's new sideline restrictions. "I flagged it last January that this diktat on the sideline was just not good enough," he said.

"Last Sunday it got to a new level of farce. You had Mikey Sheehy, who has eight All-Ireland medals, numerous All-Stars and was Texaco Footballer of the Year, and Diarmuid Murphy, with four All-Irelands and a couple of All Stars – both outside the wire in Fitzgerald Stadium. These are two men who have given up so much of their time to ensure that everything is right in our set-up, and they have to stay outside the wire?"

Elsewhere, Hawk-Eye finally makes its debut at today's Leinster SFC double-header in Croke Park.

Irish Independent

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