Mickey Harte

For the singer-songwriter, see Mickey Joe Harte. For the American percussionist, see Mickey Hart.
Mickey Harte
Personal information
Irish name Mícheál Ó hAirt
Sport Gaelic football
Born Tyrone
Occupation Teacher
Club management
Years Club
Errigal Ciarán
Inter-county management
Years County
2003–2016 Tyrone
Inter-county titles
County League Province All-Ireland
Tyrone 1 5 3

Michael "Mickey" Harte was the most successful Gaelic football manager of the Tyrone senior inter-county team. He has led Tyrone to three All-Ireland titles, five Ulster titles, one National League, and nine Dr. McKenna Cups to date as of July 2016.

Considered one of the best tacticians in the game, Harte is admired both by peers and former rivals.[1][2] The media have compared him to a statesman for his willingness to unite divided communities in Northern Ireland.[3]

Early life

Born in Glencull, near Ballygawley, County Tyrone, Harte was educated at the Christian Brothers Grammar School in Omagh. He trained to be a teacher at St. Joseph's College in Belfast (now St Mary's). He taught for five years at De La Salle Boys School in Kircubben for five years. He then moved to St Ciaran's in Ballygawley. In his 22 years spent there, he achieved numerous successes, including Tyrone, Ulster and All-Ireland Vocational Schools titles. He continued working there as he progressed through the county ranks of Tyrone's Gaelic football side, bringing them to a National Football League title, All-Ireland Minor and U21 victories and eventually, in 2003, the Sam Maguire Cup.[4]


Raised in Ballymacilroy outside Ballygawley, County Tyrone, Harte managed Tyrone Minors (1991–1998) and under-21s and won the All-Ireland with both these teams before he was named the Tyrone Senior Football Manager. He guided the under-21 team to two All-Ireland Under 21 titles and three Ulster Under 21 titles.[5] He led the Minors to an All-Ireland Minor title and three Ulster Minor titles.[5]

He subsequently managed his home club of Errigal Ciarán and was successful with this team as well, winning the Tyrone County Championship and Ulster Championship.[6]

In more recent times Ulster Championship success has not come easy for Harte's Tyrone, having been knocked out 4 times by Donegal in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015.[7]


Harte has been very forthcoming with his Christian views. In 2009, he went to Derry to attend the launch of Patrick McCrystal's controversial book Who is at the Centre of Your Marriage, the Pill or Jesus Christ?. McCrystal's opinions have generated discontent, examples: "For too long, contraception promotion has gone virtually unchallenged. Contraception is the unspoken cause of too much marriage break-up" and "Chastity before marriage and fidelity after it is the only way to truly combat AIDS. The Pope is right. European condom imperialism is not the answer. The battle against contraception is not over so long as one married couple uses contraception."[8]

In 2010, as part of the Catholic Church's "Year for Priests" celebration, he contributed to a DVD, In Praise of Priests, featuring interviews with various people expressing admiration for their favourite priest.[9]

In February 2012 Harte defended the character of self-confessed rapist Ronan McCusker, on the basis that he "comes from a widely-known GAA family in Tyrone.”

"Judge Piers Grant singled out the character reference from Harte as one of the "mitigating factors" which led him to pitch McCusker's sentence towards the bottom of the range; two-and-a-half years, 15 months in jail, 15 on licence." [10]


In 2009, Harte began writing a weekly column for the Northern Irish newspaper, The Irish News.[11] To date his column has focused on hot topics in gaelic games,[12] referees[13] and other GAA-related topics.

In October 2009, Harte (with the help of Michael Foley) published an autobiography, Harte: Presence Is The Only Thing. It was published by Poolbeg (ISBN 9781842234198).[14]

Personal life

Harte is married with several children. His daughter Michaela McAreavey was murdered on her honeymoon in Mauritius in January 2011. He also lost two brothers around the time of his daughter's murder.[3]



  1. Kernan, Joe (23 September 2008). "Tyrone's reign at the top may only be beginning". The Belfast Telegraph. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 26 September 2008.
  2. Brolly, Joe (22 August 2008). "Hail the great guru Harte". Gaelic Life (magazine). Archived from the original on 13 September 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2008.
  3. 1 2 Lanigan, Philip (17 April 2011). "A life less ordinary: Mickey Harte's presence at Ronan Kerr's funeral was a symbol for a changed Northern Ireland". Daily Mail. Retrieved 17 April 2011. However, it was Harte's presence at the funeral of Ronan Kerr four days earlier, shouldering the coffin of the murdered Catholic PSNI officer, that carried potent symbolism. Here was a man who had lost his daughter Michaela in January, mindlessly murdered on her honeymoon in Mauritius. Here was a man who had also lost two brothers in the past six months. Yet there he was in Beragh, his statesman-like presence sending out a cross-community message of hope and reconciliation in terms of a shared and peaceful future in Northern Ireland.
  4. 1 2 "Queen's honours Tyrone GAA Manager". 4ni. 6 July 2006. Retrieved 6 July 2006.
  5. 1 2 Shannon, Kieran (21 September 2008). "A case of head ruling the Harte". Sunday Tribune. p. 8.
  6. "Brave Harte Just Keeps Beating". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. 20 September 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2008.
  7. "The players and bosses on mission to grab spotlight in 2013". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  8. "Contraception causes marriage break-up, claims Tyrone author". Derry Journal. Johnston Press. 3 April 2009. Retrieved 3 April 2009.
  9. "Failure of Church leaders to deal with abuse a "source of deep shame"". Donegal Democrat. Johnston Press. 18 August 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  10. http://www.hotpress.com/politics/No-Thanks-to-Mickey-Harte/9960207.html?new_layout=1&page_no=1&show_comments=1. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. "Harte critical of championship format". Hogan Stand. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2012. Writing in his weekly Irish News column, Harte says...
  12. "?". The Irish News.
  13. "?". The Irish News.
  14. Harte, Mickey (2009). "Harte: Presence Is The Only Thing". Poolbeg Press Ltd.
Preceded by
Joe Kernan
All-Ireland Senior Football Championship
winning manager

Succeeded by
Jack O'Connor
Preceded by
Jack O'Connor
All-Ireland Senior Football Championship
winning manager

Succeeded by
Jack O'Connor
Preceded by
Jack O'Connor
All-Ireland Senior Football Championship
winning manager

Succeeded by
Jack O'Connor
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Art McRory,
Eugene McKenna
Tyrone Senior Football Manager
2003 – present
Succeeded by
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 9/18/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.