Mickey Harte expects GAA to consider future role of Irish anthem at games "when the time is right"

Tyrone manager shared his thoughts on BBC Radio Ulster

BY Raf Diallo 15:02 Monday 2 January 2017, 15:02 2 Jan 2017

Tyrone senior football manager Mickey Harte says he can envisage a time when the GAA makes a change regarding the flying of the Tricolour at games or the playing of the Irish national anthem - but that he expects it to occur when "the time is right".

The three time All Ireland winning manager was speaking on BBC Radio Ulster's Talkback programme.

Reflecting on the issue, Harte drew comparisons with other eras and changes that the GAA has undergone. 

"What I'd say is life changes, things move on. I mean, there was a time in the '70s when you weren't allowed to play 'foreign games' and play the GAA. So that changed and then there were times when Croke Park wasn't open to other sports and times when the police force of this part of the world weren't allowed to play. These things changed over time but you have to change when the time is right," he said. 

On the timing of a potential change, Harte continued: "So if other things were to change, then people will know it's the right thing to do. And if it's not the right thing to do for the greater good, then it won't happen. So I think we have to wait and see and let time take care of that."

But he added that there doesn't appear to be a "will there at the moment to do anything like that because it is very dear to" many people to maintain the current formats and culture around the game.

GAA president Aogan O Fearghaíl had recently appeared to suggest that the matter could come under consideration but later clarified his comments.

Harte will guide Tyrone into the 2017 season.

In 2016, he led the county to Ulster championship glory for the first time since 2010.

It was the fifth time, Harte had guided the team to provincial honours.

In the All-Ireland series, they reached the quarter finals where the county suffered a narrow defeat to eventual finalists Mayo.

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