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Harte's detractors must be careful what they wish for

By Declan Bogue

Last night, the Tyrone County Board convened for their monthly meeting.

There had been speculation that Mickey Harte would be ratified as the senior football manager to continue his 25-year run in charge of county teams, but anyone who has a working knowledge of GAA politics won't have been surprised that this didn't happen.

When the future of those in charge of all county teams was discussed, the issue was put off until a later date, with a debrief to be conducted with all management teams at a later date.

Naturally, the court of public opinion is bound to find Harte's current location of limbo as a mystery, while some will feel it is an insult to the man, given his length of service and the honours he has brought to Tyrone.

What shields the executive from culpability is that all management roles are up for debate. That includes Feargal Logan, who did all he could this year in delivering an All-Ireland under-21 title and Mattie Lennon who continues to push expectations and ambitions in Tyrone hurling. Meanwhile, Mickey Donnelly and Kieran McHugh have not sought re-election for their role as minor management.

But Harte (left) will be the main focus. And it becomes much more dirty when we consider the comments of Peter Canavan after Tyrone's quarter-final win over Monaghan. Some in Tyrone would have been happy to see them lose, held Canavan, because it might hasten the departure of Harte.

The reasons for this have little to do with football. Undoubtedly another under-performing year like 2014 would have created that impression, but by reaching the All-Ireland semi-final, they robbed the detractors of that fig leaf.

And if it turns out that Tyrone's continued non-co-operation with RTÉ and the knock-on effect that has on sponsorship is the main reason, then that's a real shame on those concerned.

A real shame.

Belfast Telegraph

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