Belfast Telegraph

Ruffle-gate controversy has made me stronger, says McCann

By Declan Bogue

Tyrone's Tiernan McCann has revealed how the media outrage surrounding his actions in last year's All-Ireland quarter-final against Monaghan has made him a stronger person.

The game was almost over when Monaghan's Darren Hughes ruffled McCann's hair, which prompted the Red Hands defender to lie down, feign injury and get Hughes sent off.

Asked about the incident, termed 'Ruffle-gate', at this year's All-Ireland quarter-final launch, the Killyclogher man explained: "My family were on holiday in Portugal at the time so I was at home - it was tough. But it made me stronger as a person, and I just had to concentrate on the next game because it was just two weeks later. And then, after the Kerry game, that was the year over.

"It has been brought up over the last couple of days again - the Aidan O'Shea thing saw it resurface - but I just really parked it and concentrated on myself. Hopefully people will be talking about footballing performances rather than what happened last year.

"Obviously hindsight is a wonderful thing and we have all done stuff we probably wish we hadn't or had have done differently, that's life. It is something I have had to learn from and move on."

McCann also praised the job Mickey Harte continues to do for the new Ulster champions. He stated: "Whenever adversity comes he just always responds well to it.

"He's the leader of our group and having him as a manager is testament to that, he's so positive about everything.

"He's always looking to the future and it's through him that we've come through things like this.

"His voice gets through to everyone in the room. He just talks so well.

"His vocabulary is amazing. And I know I keep coming back to this same word, but he is so positive.

"Everything is about what we can do better. He would say, 'if we were doing this again, what would we do differently to get a better result?' rather than, 'what are you doing lads, you shouldn't have done that'.

"He is a great man and a father figure to everybody. We all look up to him and believe in what he is doing."

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