McCann has been criticised for plunging to the ground after Hughes ruffled his hair, with RTÉ GAA pundits Colm O’Rourke and Ciarán Whelan especially scathing in their criticism of the Tyrone player’s actions.
But Harte appeared on BBC Sport Northern Ireland last night in a bid to draw a line under the matter.
Harte said: “On behalf of Tiernan McCann, I’m saying if he had the chance again, he probably would have responded differently. But I don’t think he’s the first person to ever have over-reacted to anything and I don’t think he will be the last. There are plenty of precedents there that didn’t cause the same furore.
“Tiernan McCann is a fine young man and a wonderful footballer. He did lots of very good things on Saturday in the game which seem to have been overlooked.”
Harte also suggested that the blame shouldn’t be entirely placed on McCann. “If the player who had raised his hand had chosen to do something different, then the outcome would have been different as well.
“I don’t think you can throw all the blame at Tiernan McCann even though he himself said he would do something different if he had the chance to do it again. That’s life. Tiernan was the first man to say: ‘I should have responded differently’. He accepted that and we’ve accepted that.”