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Tyrone official blasts RTÉ and Brolly for ‘scathing and venomous’ comments

Tyrone county secretary highly critical of RTÉ for allowing Joe Brolly’s outbursts.

Cavanagh: the
Cavanagh: the "rugby tackle" on McManus that incensed Brolly.
Image: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

A SENIOR TYRONE official has slammed RTÉ and outspoken pundit Joe Brolly for his “scathing and venomous” criticism.

Red Hand county secretary Dominic McCaughey says the broadcaster’s GAA coverage caused “distress, disgust and even pain” this summer.

The former All-Ireland winner made headlines with a string of controversial rants as Tyrone progressed to the semi-finals of the Football Championship.

He said that viewers could forget about Sean Cavanagh “as a man” following a cynical foul, a comment for which he later apologised to the All-Star.

And he accused manager Mickey Harte of having achieved “something rotten” with his team’s tactics.

“It is regrettable that we must record the distress, disgust and even pain caused to the GAA in our County by the national broadcaster, RTE, in the immediate aftermath of both the All-Ireland Qualifier against [Meath] and the All-Ireland championship quarter-final success against [Monaghan],” McCaughey wrote in his annual report which will be delivered to the county convention on 8 December.

“In the post-match analysis of the Qualifier an employee of RTE commenced an unwarranted attack in a most unprofessional manner on the character of one of the county’s, and the country’s, most outstanding and most decorated players, Sean Cavanagh.

“Such defamatory comments should not have been made and, having been made they should have been retracted by the analyst responsible for them; it would also have been appropriate for RTE to disassociate itself from these comments.”

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Tyrone’s quarter-final was overshadowed by Brolly’s post-match outburst in which he criticised Cavanagh for rugby-tackling Conor McManus when through on goal.

Cavanagh was shown a yellow card, the punishment under current GAA rules until the black card is introduced.

Tyrone went on to win by two points but the incident and Brolly’s reaction re-opened the debate on cynical tactics in the GAA.

YouTube Credit: Pádraig Ó Dubhaigh

McCaughey added: “Following the victory over [Monaghan], in a scathing and venomous rant, [Tyrone's] success was totally discredited by the same RTE analyst, with the manager Mickey Harte being described as ‘having achieved something rotten’ and with a continuation of the character of Sean Cavanagh being seriously questioned.

“Such unfair comments and the manner of the outburst in which they were delivered were unbecoming of, and unfitting for any broadcaster; they should not have been made particularly in view of the fact that both men are participating in an amateur sport and in a totally voluntary capacity; it was wrong for RTE to allow and condone such remarks that caused so much hurt.”

– Originally published 20.34

Video: Cracking goal by Marc Ó Sé in club match for An Ghaeltacht yesterday

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