Christy Cooney took a stance on the Brian Carty issue yesterday, when he backed RTÉ in their row with eight inter-county managers who have decided to boycott the state broadcaster.
Tyrone’s Mickey Harte, Kildare’s Kieran McGeeney, Laois boss Justin McNulty, Kevin Walsh (Sligo), Mickey Moran (Leitrim), Brian Cody (Kilkenny), Glen Ryan of Longford and Cork boss Conor Counihan have said that they refuse to give interviews to RTÉ, as they believe that the state broadcaster have mistreated reporter Brian Carthy in recent months. The managers feel that Carty should have been given a more prominent role following the retirement of Micheal Ó Muircheartaigh.
However, GAA President Cooney said that RTÉ are entitled to have Carthy cover whatever matches they decide, and that he is not the only one capable of covering the top match every Sunday.
“RTÉ have a responsibility to utilise their staff how they feel is best appropriate,” Cooney said yesterday. “It’s not our part to tell them who they should have commentating or reporting on matches.
“I wouldn’t expect RTÉ to come along and tell us who we should assign on our staff to the various roles here in the GAA.”
Cooney also said that while the managers in question aren’t obliged to grant interviews after Championship matches it would be going against normal practice if they refused any such requests.
“As part of our agreement with the GPA, players have to make themselves available for interviews after matches. Managers are not specifically mentioned in that agreement, but it’s normal practice that they cooperate with interview requests as well.
“We have a contract situation with all our media partners with regard to the use of our players and we have (a) contract with our county boards regarding television matches. I would hope this will be sorted quickly and it won’t be an issue throughout the summer.”
Cooney completed his statement by adding that he felt Carty was an excellent commentator and hinted that he also hoped that RTE may decide to increase his profile over the summer:
“I would say that Brian Carthy has given outstanding service to our game for decades. He’s a very good commentator and I’m sure he’ll continue to have a pivotal role in the the next few seasons. I don’t know how long these plans are for Brian Carthy or any of these people and it’s not our place to speculate. All we want is that anyone commentating on our games does it with balance”