We all know of the tragic and still unsolved murder of Michaela Harte, daughter of Tyrone manager Mickey Harte.
Her death at the hands of person or persons unknown carried with it the fears of many women, who find themselves at the mercy of physically stronger men and the terrible consequences that can occur when those men are drunk or aggressive in their approach to those women. It is a frightening thought that is sometimes given real shape for some women who occasionally pay with their lives.
All the more surprising to see that Mickey Harte has chosen to provide a character reference for a man who admits sexually assaulting a woman, while intoxicated, and leaving her half naked on the side of the road.
It appears to be a case of loyalty to a prominent GAA family before loyalty to women in general, surprising given what happened to his poor daughter, but that's just my view.Ronan McCusker (27), from Ballygillen Road in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the 47-year-old woman after he had met her in a bar. He also pleaded guilty to taking his father's van without his authority, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance. Those offences also happened on June 28, 2010.
Defence barrister Brian McCartney told a judge the defendant "comes from a highly regarded family in mid-Ulster who are widely known within the GAA".
Tyrone boss Harte gives reference for sex attacker - Independent.ie