Nothing RTÉ can do to end boycott, says Mickey Harte

Nothing RTÉ can do to end boycott, says Mickey Harte

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte has confirmed he will never again speak with RTÉ and insists there is nothing the national broadcaster can do to resolve their seven-year dispute.

In an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with Kieran Shannon published in Saturday's Examiner Sport, Harte discusses his deep religious faith, his recent brush with cancer and the way he coped with the murder of his daughter Michaela.

He explains the rebuilding process that brought Tyrone back to an All-Ireland final and why he never wavered in the belief he was the right man to manage the county, despite enduring severe criticism when he hit a barren spell following his three All-Ireland successes.

Harte's feud with RTÉ dates to June 2011 when the station broadcast a sketch about Harte on John Murray's radio show, which featured a clip from the song ‘The Little Girl from Omagh’, which Harte took to be

insensitive in the wake of his daughter's death. Michaela was murdered on her honeymoon in Mauritius just five months earlier.

Tyrone GAA has not carried out any interviews with RTÉ since and the broadcaster has been excluded from Tyrone's media briefings.

That boycott will continue into Sunday's All-Ireland football final meeting with Dublin and Harte insists he will never break his silence, despite insisting he has no personal enmity for anyone at RTÉ

"I’m not taking this as anything personal, really. It’s an institution that I’m against here," he says.

"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 in any way towards. My challenge is that I don’t feel angst towards individuals, even the individual who did the skit bit.

"It’s just like the people who killed Michaela: I am not in this daily thinking ‘God, I despise them’ or ‘I’d love to do this or that to them.’

"Through the grace of God, I just leave them! I leave them be. But 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.”

Asked if RTÉ can do anything now to make amends, Harte added:

“No. No, that’s history. That’s gone, that’s over. And it’s not a big deal. I’m just seeing this as a point of principle that I’m prepared to go with.”

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