Mickey Harte reopens RTÉ spat with ‘celebrity analysts’ jibe

Mickey Harte has supported Dublin manager Jim Gavin in his staunch defence of Diarmuid Connolly and suggested RTÉ’s coverage is marred by “sound bites” from “celebrity analysts”.

Gavin hit out at RTÉ’s analysis of Connolly’s push on linesman Ciaran Branagan during Dublin’s Leinster quarter-final win over Carlow — believing comments made by pundits Pat Spillane and Colm O’Rourke contributed to his player getting a 12-week suspension.

Harte, who has refused to conduct interviews with RTÉ since 2011, did not mention any broadcaster by name but revealed he much prefers Sky’s “insightful” coverage.

“I am sure that Jim (Gavin) would not need me to support him, he has done quite well on his own to date,” said the Tyrone boss.

“He is entitled to do what he needs he thinks to do in the situation he finds himself in and I would accept that from him or anybody.

“It is a case of do we get quality analysis or do we get sound bites? That is the big difference. You need to be sure that the people analysing our games, some people would call them celebrity analysts, need to be really mindful of the fact that it’s not about putting someone else down to raise themselves up.

“It should be about ‘is this insightful information we are sharing with people, is there substance behind what I am saying?’ Or does it just sound good when it is retweeted by someone who does not know much about what they read.”

Former Kerry All-Ireland winner Paul Galvin has called for ‘The Sunday Game’ to be stood down and rebranded, insisting RTÉ needs to devise a better format.

Harte refused to get into a slanging match about the State broadcaster — but hinted Sky pundits Jim McGuinness and Peter Canavan do a far better job.

“I am not going to deal with specific cases or broadcasters but what I would suggest is that there are a couple of men on another channel that I quite like listening to. One of them is heading off to China (McGuinness) and the other one is here (Canavan) and they are very insightful.

“They really tell us something different and they don’t tell us what we have all seen after it has happened — they actually suggest things that could be done to improve it.

“They analyse the thing in specific detail and they are very good to listen to and it is not about sound bites. There is an alternative there and if people look on they can see which they would prefer to look at and to listen to.”

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