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Des Cahill says he 'totally accepts' RTÉ caused Mickey Harte 'huge offence'



Mickey Harte

Mickey Harte

�INPHO/Evan Logan

Mickey Harte

RTÉ sports broadcaster Des Cahill says he “totally accepts” that his employer caused huge offence to former Tyrone manager Mickey Harte.

The journalist received backlash online after tweeting that he “hugely regrets” that Mr Harte “fell out with RTÉ”.

He then sent out a tweet today, writing: “I totally accept that RTÉ caused huge offence to Mickey Harte, his family and so many other people. I shared that view. This tweet is simply a public display of respect for one of the great GAA men of my generation.”

His original tweet read: “Congratulations, Mickey Harte, on a truly fantastic career. Not just what you achieved, but how you gave so much to the #GAA and especially your beloved #Tyrone.

“I've always had huge respect for your values, and hugely regret you fell out with RTÉ. Wishing you the very best.”

The former Tyrone manager announced his retirement this week and has had an ongoing stand-off with the national broadcaster since 2011.

Mr Harte, along with the Tyrone team, hasn't spoken to RTÉ since then after a skit aired on the John Murray Show on Radio One that the All-Ireland-winning manager felt disrespected the memory of his daughter Michaela, who was tragically murdered shortly before.

The skit featured a clip from the song ‘The Little Girl from Omagh’, which Mr Harte took to be insensitive in the wake of his daughter's death.

In 2018, the controversy was brought back up after Tyrone booked their place in the All-Ireland final.

RTÉ released a statement saying that the team wouldn't be participating in any media activity with them around the final.

RTÉ traditionally broadcasts from the hotel of the winning team on The Sunday Game, where the Man of the Match award is given out and the manager and players are interviewed.

Speaking to Kieran Shannon in an interview with the Irish Examiner at the time, the former Tyrone manager opened up about the dispute.

"I'm not taking this as anything personal," he said.

"It's an institution I'm against here, and the institution to me here is a faceless thing and there are certain individuals within it who have done things they should not have done.

"RTÉ to me, as an entity, is not something that I feel I have to be forgiving towards," he added.

"As a point of principle, as far as RTÉ is concerned, I am not speaking to them because they didn't do the right thing at the right time.

"I'm not seeing this as something where forgiveness comes into it. I'm just seeing this as a point of principle that I'm prepared to go with."