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RTÉ 'regrets any offence' caused to Mickey Harte and family following sketch show controversy

RTE have responded to an earlier statement by Tyrone GAA, insisting that they regret any offence that was caused to Mickey Harte by a sketch on The John Murray Show.

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

RTÉ HAVE RELEASED a statement explaining that it regrets ‘any offence’ caused to the family of Tyrone manager Mickey Harte, following a sketch on The John Murray Show on 9 June 9.

The Tyrone County Board earlier issued a press release to explain the reasons why the team’s management and players have refused to co-operate with the national broadcaster in recent times.

A perceived lack of sensitivity shown towards the Harte family and Michaela’s husband John McAreavey is the root of the blackout, with Tyrone’s statement on the matter coming just one day before the high profile All-Ireland quarter-final against Dublin.

That match is scheduled to be shown live on RTÉ2.

The release relates to a period in which several inter-county managers voiced concerns over the number of matches Brian Carthy was commentating on. Tyrone say the sketch on The John Murray Show was broadcast with a ‘complete lack of sensitivity.’

RTE’s statement in full:

RTÉ Radio 1′s John Murray Show presents, each morning, a satirical and humorous synopsis of the day’s big news stories. On June 9 the programme covered a widely reported controversy involving Mickey Harte.

RTÉ understands and appreciates that the item offended Mr Harte. It is never RTÉ’s intention to knowingly offend any individual, and RTÉ sincerely regrets any offence caused. This sincere regret was immediately and personally communicated to Mr Harte by RTÉ management.

RTÉ wishes to clarify that it did not leak the contents of the letter referred to in today’s statement by the Tyrone GAA Senior Football Management and Players. RTÉ treated the correspondence as private and confidential, and was mindful of the need for discretion in all public statements it was called upon to make.

It is RTÉ’s hope that, in the public interest of all those who follow gaelic games, the matter can be resolved.

The Tyrone statement in full:

A number of weeks ago the Senior Football Manager in conjunction with several other GAA managers wrote a letter marked Private and Confidential to two senior people within the RTÉ organisation.

In this letter Mickey Harte expressed his own and a number of other managers’ concern at the disproportionate absence of Brian Carthy from his role as a radio commentator. The contents of the letter made their way into the public domain and the managers’ concerned can categorically state that they were not the source of that leak.

Due to the portrayal of the said letter, at least one other broadcaster within the organisation acted in a most insensitive manner in the choice of their programme dialogue in a morning radio show soon after. Inappropriate references to the fact that the Tyrone manager Mickey Harte was associated with the Dali Lama conference in Limerick and the choice of the song “Pretty Little Girl from Omagh” will give you an indication of the complete lack of sensitivity the presenter in question afforded the Harte family and Michaela’s husband John McAreavey, in what remains for them a very difficult time.

We hope that this statement clarifies for the general public why Mickey Harte, his management team and the players have chosen not to co-operate with RTÉ at this time.

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