Harte blasts ‘media hysteria’

Mickey Harte has blamed “media hysteria” for ensuring All-Ireland Club JFC finalisists Derrytresk “couldn’t get a fair trial”.

The Tyrone champions have been banned from all provincial and national competition for the next five years, following controversial incidents in their victory over Dromid Pearses. They will be without seven first choice players for tomorrow’s decider against Clonbur at Croke Park.

Harte blasted: “The subjective nature of the reporting that has gone on since Derrytresk qualified for the All-Ireland club JFC final has been nothing short of disgraceful. The hysteria drummed up by sections of the print media allied to the numerous phone-ins to radio stations would have you believe this was some kind of slaughter of the innocents, with all culpability resting squarely on the shoulders of the Tyrone and Ulster champions.

“Of course the flashpoint incident was unsavoury and cannot be condoned. However, to draw conclusions from that particular incident and the media surge that focused on that alone does a huge disservice to what was overall, a most disciplined performance by the Derrytresk unit on the day and to the good name of the people and community they represent.

“The incident on the sideline and in the vicinity of the Derrtresk management and subs was initiated by an aggressive act by one of the opposition. Derrytresk personnel reacted in kind and the situation became inflamed. That was wrong. However, after no more than 10 seconds, the confrontational nature of the incident subsided and there was more activity of a sensible nature separating those initially involved rather than a fanning of flames.”

Harte told the Irish News: “The personal fouls count against Derrytresk in the first half amounted to three while their opponents committed nine. The second half return painted a very similar picture, with the Kerrymen committing eight to a mere three for the Tyrone champions”

Harte said Dromid players received double the number of cards (yellow or red) than Derrytresk, with the Tyrone side receiving their cards for “buying” a free and remonstrating with the referee over decisions, while the majority of the Dromid transgressions were for “aggressive” acts.

“The punishment meted out to this small, rural community is absolutely disproportionate. In the economic climate a fine of €5,000 is crippling. Despite the fact their appeal has released one of the suspended players and reduced the monetary penalty to €2,500, the sanction on banning the club from the provincial and All-Ireland series for five years is draconian. The incident cannot be condoned but neither was it the national crisis some would have us believe it was.”

DUBLIN (SF v Mayo): S Cluxton; D Daly, R O’Carroll, P McMahon; J McCarthy, G Brennan, C Dias; R McConnell, MD Macauley; P Brogan, K McManamon; B Cullen; D Connolly, E O’Gara, T Quinn.

WEXFORD (SF v Sligo): A Masterson; N Murphy, G Molloy, B Malone; L Chin, A Flynn, A Doyle; R Quinlivan, A Shore; R Barry, C Lyng, B Brosnan; P J Banville, E Bradley, P Byrne. Subs: T Hughes, B Mulligan, C Morris, S Culleton, C Carty, R Tierney, P Kelly, K O’Grady, S Roche, J Holmes, B Doyle.

TIPPERARY (SF v Antrim): P Fitzgerald; A Morrissey, P Codd, C McDonald; R Costigan, T Ryan, R Kiely; B Jones, E Ryan; C Sweeney, S Ryan, P Acheson; M Quinlivan, P Austin, B Grogan.

TIPPERARY (SH v Cork): B Cummins; C O’Brien, P Curran, M Cahill; S Maher, C O’Mahony, P Maher; J Ryan, S McGrath; G Ryan, P Maher, A Ryan; T Hammersley, B O’Meara, J O’Brien.

LOUTH (SF v Galway): N Gallagher; P Rath, D Finnegan, G Hoey; R Finnegan, J Carr, L Shevlin; P Kennan, B Donnelly; D Crilly, R Carroll, A Reid; M Brennan, A McDonnell, D Clarke.

OFFALY (SF v Roscommon): K Meehan; J Gallagher, S Sullivan, S Pender; P Mc Conway, J Moloney, B Darby; B Hanamy, N Smith; D Kelly, A Keenaghan, G Guilfoyle; W Mulhall, A Mulhall, A Sullivan.

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Join us for a special evening of Cheltenham chat on Friday March 12 at 6.30pm with racing legend and Irish Examiner columnist Ruby Walsh, Irish Examiner racing correspondent Tommy Lyons, and former champion jockey and tv presenter Mick Fitzgerald, author of Better than Sex.

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