Tyrone joint-manager Brian Dooher has hit out at suggestions that his side used positive covid cases in their squad to their advantage.
The All-Ireland semi-final between Tyrone and Kerry was postponed on two occasions following an outbreak of covid cases in the Ulster champions’ squad, which pushed back both their game and the final by almost two weeks.
Tyrone had pulled out of the rescheduled date of August 21, but the semi-final was then rescheduled for a second time thanks to the co-operation of both the GAA and Kerry.
Dooher was speaking to the media after his side’s win against Kerry and didn’t take too kindly to insinuations that Tyrone could have fielded a team earlier than Saturday.
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) August 28, 2021
Brian Dooher: ‘There’s been a kind of slant here we’ve tried to pull a fast one.’
“Can I say something here? If this is coming at us to attack us here, which seems to be heading in that direction . . . we made a decision based on medical advice relevant to what happened and where we were, and we took the medical advice,” Dooher said, via the Irish Independent.
“We weren’t fit to field, we were told that. So I have a duty of care to those players next door to me, people mightn’t think that but was I going to put them out and something happened and fair enough I said no I’m not, I’d take the hit.
“And we were getting [hassle] from the players for doing that, they weren’t happy I pulled their championship on them.
“I don’t want to get into this here now. But there’s been a kind of a slant here we’ve tried to pull a fast one. It was a factual thing based on the evidence.
“I don’t want to get into this here but if that’s the way this is going, which it seems to be listening to it, I’m in the wrong place.”
‘Only those on the inside will understand how tough it was.’
Dooher revealed earlier this month that Tyrone did not make it mandatory for their players to be vaccinated prior to the covid outbreak in the squad, and said that vaccinations could have presented a “conundrum” for the squad if players got sick because of the jab.
Tyrone were dealt with a significant conundrum nonetheless when they were hit by a covid outbreak, which came very close to preventing them from fulfilling their All-Ireland semi-final fixture.
Man of the match Kieran McGeary was speaking to RTE directly after the match and spoke of the disruptions in the build-up to the game, remarking that, “Only those on the inside will understand how tough it was.”
The build-up to the final against Mayo should prove to be more straightforward, but no less nerve-wracking for all those involved.