Mickey Harte furious over Seán Cavanagh criticism

Tyrone manager responding to comments made on RTÉ by pundit Joe Brolly

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and Stephen O’Neill celebrate after their quarter-final win over Monaghan. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and Stephen O’Neill celebrate after their quarter-final win over Monaghan. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho


Mickey Harte was livid after today’s All-Ireland quarter-final defeat of Monaghan, the Tyrone manager rounding on RTÉ pundit Joe Brolly’s comments about Seán Cavanagh’s 49th minute rugby tackle on Conor McManus.

“I wouldn’t be surprised by that, that’s par for the course,” said Harte of the criticism.

McManus would have been through on goal, at a vital moment in the game with Monaghan trailing 0-11 to 0-9, but for Cavanagh’s obvious “professional” foul.

Joe Brolly's rant

The man of the match, who kicked three marvellous points from play, was also yellow carded for a similar tackle against Meath last week, and his intervention this evening drew the ire of Brolly, who insisted he had plenty of time for Cavanagh the player, but not for the “man”.

The former Derry player said he wouldn’t allow an under-12s player line out again if he were guilty of such a tackle.

There is no rule in Gaelic games for any punishment other than a booking for dragging the man to ground.

“Look at the game in its entirety and tell me the balance of fouling against the person and how it adds up,” Harte continued. “Give me the statistics of the game and I’ll talk about individual instances.”

Is Cavanagh being unfairly signalled out?

“A complete tirade is all I’ve ever heard from certain individuals on that score.”

Peter Harte made a similar tackle further out the field on 69 minutes and was also shown a yellow card.

“I would love somebody to take a closer look at how many times (Peter Harte) gets fouled and pulled. Pulling your jersey and holding people back, is that any worse, is that any less cynical than somebody taking you down just on the spot?

“Let’s get real about all of this. Give us a forensic examination of all of this and we might have a different picture, not what appears to be a certain bias.”

On Martin Penrose’s straight red card after half-time, punishment for a fracas with Dessie Mone as the teams left the field at the break, Harte added: “I wasn’t close enough to see it, but thinking Martin Penrose would be involved in something of that nature, I’ll have to wait and see the pictures to see did it merit a red card or not.”

Joe McMahon (groin) was forced off after 45 minutes.

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