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19th Sep 2023

Owen Mulligan’s reaction to Mickey Harte news echoes Tyrone fans everywhere

Lee Costello

Mickey Harte

“FS may as well have joined Rangers.”

Owen Mulligan’s reaction to the Mickey Harte news that he is set to become Derry manager echoes Tyrone fans everywhere.

Mulligan played under Harte for the Tyrone senior team from 2003 to 2013, winning three All-Irelands in the process, although their relationship was not always on the best terms.

In 2013 Mulligan had told Harte that he would miss the early pre-season games for the county because his club, Cookstown Father Rocks, was preparing for the All-Ireland Intermediate final.

However, after the match, Mulligan never rang Harte to say that he was ready to come back, and his manager never rang him to tell him to return, so in a strange stand-off Mulligan’s time in a Tyrone jersey came to an end.

Throughout the years, working as a pundit for various media outlets, the flying forward has always spoke very highly of Harte, often defending him when critics or ex players spoke negatively about him.

However, as the news filtered in last night that the Errigal Ciaran native left his role as Louth manager, and will be taking the vacant position in Derry, Mulligan reacted pretty much as you would expect all Tyrone fans to react.

After all this is a man who led the county for two decades, nearly three if you count the underage teams that he was in charge of.

Even now when he’s doing punditry for BBC, he clearly still wears his Tyrone hat, supporting them and standing up for them, often at the expense of Armagh legend Óisin McConville.

Mulligan posted on ‘X’ formerly known as Twitter, and compared the move to when footballer Mo Johnston left Celtic and joined arch rivals Rangers.

Posting an image of the player in a rangers jersey next to a photo of Mickey Harte and trainer Gavin Devlin, who is also set to join Derry as a coach, Mulligan said: “Harte’s army #Freeeeeeeeeeedom.”

In another tweet. the blonde bombshell who grace Croke Park on several occasions continued with this Celtic-Rangers theme, replying in another tweet: “FS may as well have joined Rangers.”

The tweet that really underlines his true feelings however, is when he replied to BBC presenter Thomas Niblock,  when he said:”Only back speaking to the c*** and he goes and does this.”

When Niblock replied joking that: “Rumour has it you’re joining him. Training at St Pius school just to make it more palatable for yourself and Gavin.”

Quick as a flash the former All-Star replied: “Training every Tuesday and Thursday. On the pitch for 7, for a 7:30 start. Location Ibrox. Bring studs and mouldies!”

Of course these social media posts are made in jest, but it does help capture the shock and feelings of Tyrone fans and the GAA world in general.

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