Wednesday 20 February 2019

RTE refuse to bow to GAA bosses in storm over Carthy

RTE has decided not to give in to demands from some of the country's top GAA bosses that Brian Carthy should be made lead commentator.

In an extraordinary row, up to nine inter-county managers -- led by Tyrone's Mickey Harte -- have warned the national broadcaster that they will snub interview requests unless Carthy is given a "fair crack of the whip".

The well-known voice was largely expected to be chief commentator for RTE following the retirement of GAA legend Micheal O Muircheartaigh.

However, Montrose chiefs have seemingly sidelined Carthy in favour of Marty Morrissey, Darragh Moloney and Ger Canning. Carthy's close friend Mickey Harte has warned that managers will continue to boycott all interviews next weekend unless the commentator is given "fair representation".

"A few of us talked about it and said we felt he (Carthy) was the voice of radio and synonymous with GAA now that Micheal O Muircheartaigh had retired. It seemed that he was being reduced in his air-time. We think a man who has been commentating for 25 years through the medium of radio should be getting a fair representation and at the moment it's not happening."

Harte, alongside Kildare's Kieran McGeeney and Laois boss Justin McNulty, aired their dissent in a letter to RTE, which they say was received on Wednesday. They claim that no response was made to the letter, a claim disputed by RTE.

Carthy commentated on Sunday's game between Cork and Waterford, while Marty Morrissey took charge of the Leinster championship clashes of Dublin versus Laois and Kildare versus Meath.

Cork boss Conor Counihan, who took part in a post-match interview with Carthy, is said to be considering joining the standoff. At least six other inter-county managers are understood to be considering going public with their support.


Carthy and Harte have long enjoyed a close friendship. The broadcaster spoke openly about his relationship with the Hartes after the murder of Mickey's daughter Michaela in January.

The three-time All Ireland winning manager admitted yesterday that the standoff with RTE may continue.

"If no response comes we'll have to consider the situation again," he said.

"(Carthy) is not looking to take over the show, he's just looking for a fair crack of the whip and it does not appear to be happening at the moment.

But RTE hit back at the managers' refusal to engage with interviewers.

RTE Head of Sport Ryle Nugent said in a statement today: "I was taken aback by what happened at the weekend by the fact they chose not to engage in interviews with us.

"It is a concern and I'm not quite sure where this is coming from but a letter has been sent by RTE to Mickey Harte and we await his response.

"Brian Carthy is still part of our commentary team. But we have chosen not to appoint another leade commentator following the retirement of Micheal O Muircheartaigh."


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