Belfast Telegraph

Mickey Harte says GAA could drop Irish anthem and tricolour from games 'when time is right'

The GAA could stop playing the Irish national anthem and flying the Tricolour at matches "when the time is right and it is for the greater good" of the sport, the legendary Tyrone manager Mickey Harte has said.

The All-Ireland winning manager was speaking in an interview on the BBC Radio Ulster Show Talkback.

He said that over the years the GAA had made changes in the past and would continue to do so as long as it was in the interest of the "greater good" of the sport.

"Time moves on," he said.

"There was a time when you weren't allowed to play - in inverted commas - foreign games. Croke Park was not open to other sports and the police force in this part of the world could not take part.

"Things will change when the time is right.

"People will know it is the right thing to do and if they don't, if it is not the thing to do for the greater good, then it won't happen.

"Have to let people be as they are as long as it is not disrespectful of others.

"We don't have to take anything away from anybody."

He added: "The status quo that exists at the moment, it's very dear to many people not because it's anti anybody else, it's just in their culture."

More: Is desire for anthem flagging?

The Tyrone manager also said the sport had the ability to go global with the potential of a World Cup-style tournament or possibly featuring in the Olympics.

He said that the game would develop across the world once its potential was realised and other countries got involved.

TalkBack host William Crawley also asked if he would explain the scoring in the game.

"If you just remember it's three points for a goal," Harte responded.

Harte said it was not up to him how long he would stay at the helm with Tyrone, but that it was his desire to continue on for "another few years".

In the wide ranging interview with Mr Crawley he also talked about the loss of his daughter Michaela, who was killed while on honeymoon six years ago this month.

"I've been blessed that I have the grace of God with me to deal with it," he said.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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