Owen Mulligan has defended the Tyrone players after footage was shared of them singing rebel songs following their win over Cavan last weekend.
The All-Ireland winner described the incident, which has bee condemned both north and south of the border, as “just lads having craic”. The Paddy Power columnist thinks the whole situation has been blown out of proportion.
“The Tyrone team freeing Ireland in the back of the team bus on Sunday after beating Cavan and progressing into the Super 8’s was just lads having [the] craic. We’ve all been there after winning high profile games. There’s always one lad that knows every rebel song ever written and belts them out.
“People needlessly twisted this into something much more sinister. What would they have preferred hearing them sing? Incy Wincy Spider?”
One issue that Mulligan didn’t view as just a bit of ‘craic’ was Peter Harte’s black card against Cavan on Saturday. It marked the third black card for Harte this season meaning he is suspended for one game.
The Cookstown native claims Mickey Harte has every right to be disgusted but claimed it would be a waste of time for Tyrone to appeal the decision.
“The Peter Harte black card was a joke. The previous two black cards that he picked up in the Longford and Donegal games were also seriously harsh. Mickey Harte is right to be disgusted about them.
“It’s a waste of an evening heading off to Croke Park to appeal them when everyone knows that they should never have been handed out in the first place. Peter Harte isn’t that type of player and everyone knows that.”
Harte looks set to miss this weekend’s opening super 8 clash when Tyrone travel to face Connacht champions, Roscommon, in Dr Hyde Park.
Mulligan is confident, however, that Tyrone can get over the line despite the absence of one of their key performers.
“And so to Roscommon in the Hyde this weekend. The Rossies were raging that they didn’t get two points over Tyrone in the league. The wind dominated the game that day.
“The league, however, will have no bearing on this game. Tyrone love playing away from home so the trip to Roscommon won’t annoy them. Roscommon are better organised this year than they have been for a while. I expect them to cause Tyrone a few problems but I don’t see them winning. Tyrone by five!”