McCaughey takes RTÉ to task over Cavanagh tackle outburst

Tyrone county secretary Dominic McCaughey has launched a scathing attack on RTÉ over the Seán Cavanagh rugby tackle outburst.

The controversy over Joe Brolly’s tirade against Cavanagh in the wake of his challenge on Monaghan attacker Conor McManus at Croke Park last summer has been re-ignited by comments made in McCaughey’s annual report. And the broadcaster has come in for more criticism than Brolly himself, with McCaughey insisting RTÉ should have disassociated itself from the views of the match analyst and former Derry star.

“It is regrettable we must record the distress, disgust and even pain caused to the GAA in our county by the national broadcaster, RTÉ, in the immediate aftermath of both the All-Ireland Qualifier against Meath and the All-Ireland championship quarter-final success against Monaghan,” says McCaughey.

“In the post-match analysis of the qualifier an employee of RTÉ commenced an unwarranted attack in a most unprofessional manner on the character of one of the county’s, and the country’s, most outstanding decorated players, Seán Cavanagh.

“Such defamatory comments should not have been made and, having been made, should have been retracted by the analyst responsible for them. It would also have been appropriate for RTÉ to disassociate itself from these comments.”

And he accused Brolly of discrediting Tyrone’s victory over Monaghan with a ‘venomous rant’.

“Following the victory over Monaghan, in a scathing and venomous rant, Tyrone’s success was totally discredited by the same RTÉ analyst, with manager Mickey Harte being described as ‘having achieved something rotten’ and with a continuation of the character of Sean Cavanagh being seriously questioned.

“Such unfair comments and the manner of the outburst in which they were delivered were unbecoming of, and unfitting for any broadcaster. They should not have been made, particularly in view of the fact both men are participating in an amateur sport and in a totally voluntary capacity; it was wrong for RTÉ to allow and condone such remarks that caused so much hurt.”

McCaughey reflected on a season in which a Tyrone team in transition made impressive progress, reaching the NFL final and the All-Ireland semi-final.

“In reviewing the season we can be more than well-pleased with the outstanding progress of the county’s senior football team, being re-built after a significant number of changes in personnel from the previous year.

“The Dr McKenna Cup returned to Tyrone at the start of the year, promotion from Division 2 of the NFL was followed by the major achievement of contesting the Division 1 final in Croke Park against Dublin, only losing by a single point. Then, the disappointment of a first-round defeat in the Ulster Championship became a distant memory as the county progressed through the Qualifiers to contest the All-Ireland semi-final. The statistics for the 2013 season will indicate Tyrone played a total of 21 games and were victorious in 16 of them i.e. a 76% winning record, and of these games there was a total of only five played at home – two McKenna Cup, three NFL and none in the Championship. It is appropriate to pay tribute to team manager, Mickey Harte on this remarkable achievement while team rebuilding, and similarly to offer the county’s appreciation to his able assistants, Tony Donnelly, Gavin Devlin and Fergal McCann.”


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