Sunday 27 May 2018

McCann 'stronger as a person' after Rufflegate rumpus

Tyrone’s Tiernan McCann. Picture Credit: SPORTSFILE
Tyrone’s Tiernan McCann. Picture Credit: SPORTSFILE

Tiernan McCann says he has learned from last summer's 'Rufflegate' controversy - and also moved on, reflected in his performances in helping Tyrone to land their first Ulster SFC title in six years, against Donegal on Sunday.

The Red Hand dynamo found himself at the centre of a diving storm last August after his theatrical reaction to having his hair ruffled by Darren Hughes during a feisty All-Ireland quarter-final.

His Monaghan opponent was wrongly red-carded but it was McCann who temporarily ended up in retrospective trouble, being hit with a proposed eight-week ban which was then quashed by the Central Hearings Committee. Speaking at yesterday's All-Ireland SFC series launch, the Killyclogher man recalled what was a difficult period.

"My family were on holiday in Portugal at the time so I was at home - it was tough," he explained. "But it made me stronger as a person, and I just had to concentrate on the next game really because it was just two weeks later and then, after the Kerry game, that was the year over.

"So it has been a while since it has been talked about. The last couple of days it has been brought up again - the Aidan O'Shea thing saw it brought up," he revealed, referencing the recent controversy over O'Shea's dramatic tumble to earn a vital Mayo penalty.

"I just really parked it and concentrated on myself," he added. "Obviously hindsight is a wonderful thing and we have all done stuff we would probably wish we hadn't or had done differently.

"That's life - it is something I have had to learn from and move on. That was what I did last year and what I have had to carry through to this year."

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