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The religious ties that bind Tyrone's Mickey Harte and Dublin's Ger Brennan

They’ll be opponents next Sunday in Croke Park and the pair were both involved at the stadium last year in the Eucharistic Congress.

Tyrone's Mickey Harte.
Tyrone's Mickey Harte.
Image: INPHO/Donall Farmer.

NEXT SUNDAY THEY will be in opposition in Croke Park in pursuit of the Allianz Division 1 football league title.

Mickey Harte will be at the helm on the sideline for Tyrone.

While Ger Brennan will be a key figure in the defensive plans for Dublin.

But last summer it was a non-sporting event that brought the pair to the stadium on Jones Road.

The closing ceremony of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress took place last June in Croke Park with Brennan and Harte, two GAA figures renowned for their religious faith, both playing roles.

“Mickey certainly spoke at a few events in the lead up to it,” says Brennan. “I was working in the Congress in the Youth ministry as a full time employee and as a volunteer. I was lucky enough to read a Prayer of the Faithful as Gaeilge on the day and on the pitch. So that was a great experience.”

Brennan has a Masters degree in pastoral theology from NUI Maynooth and currently works as a secondary school teacher of Religion and Irish at St Kevin’s College in Finglas. Despite moving in similar circles to Harte, Brennan reveals have never crossed paths.

“Funnily enough I’ve never met Mickey at these events. We’ve had so much going on, I’ve been going somewhere and he’s been going somewhere. You’d always be conscious of your football schedule.

“We’ve been at similar events but we’ve never had a chance to chat properly. It’d be a great opportunity to do that at some stage.”

Dublin’s Ger Brennan
Pic: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

‘I often compare the GAA to the Catholic Church, they’re very slow in doing things’

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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