FOLLOWING his side’s heavy loss to Kerry on Saturday last in Killarney, one could expect Tyrone manager Mickey Harte to make a swift exit from Fitzgerald Stadium.
However, Kerry supporters had other ideas, with hundreds of well-wishers waiting after the final whistle to show their support for the Red Hands boss and his side following his family’s recent anguish.
For those unfamiliar with the tragedy, Harte’s daughter Michaela was brutally murdered on her honeymoon in Mauritius early last year, with a recent trial ruling two men to be not guilty of her murder.
To make matters even worse, the Mauritian Sunday Times then published pictures of Michaela’s body, which caused outrage among many Irish citizens, both young and old.
Even though his side were well beaten on the night by a superior Kerry side, it was truly heart-warming to see hundreds of Kerry fans clapping their opposition as they made their way to their team-bus.
It was a remarkable sight, thus showing the level of respect held by one and all for Harte, who has managed Tyrone for the past number of years.
Popular social media site Facebook published a short statement from the Tyrone GAA page, which fully explained the scenes in Fitzgerald Stadium.
Joe.ie reported that approximately 500 supporters (both men and women of young and old) waited around and began to clap when Harte and his panel of players emerged from their dressing room.
“When Mickey Harte appeared, a cheer of support went up,” the website added. “As the coach headed down through Killarney, hundreds on the pavements took over where the others left off, warmly applauding Tyrone.”
“There is no doubt that Ireland lost a lot and took a lot of wrong turns in the last few years. But if you wanted your faith in decency, respect, honour and dignity restored, then Killarney at about eight o’clock last Saturday evening was the place to be,” the Tyrone GAA page stated.
“Inspirational. Unforgettable. Classy.”
In a time where our country is steeped in economic crisis, it is undeniably refreshing to see such a level of respect and support directed towards one of the GAA’s most-loved managers.