Clonmel club's grief at tragic death of Michaela

Clonmel Og GAA club, which has built up a strong relationship with Tyrone football manager Mickey Harte, expressed profound sorrow and sadness this week at the tragic death of his daughter Michaela in Mauritius.

Clonmel Og GAA club, which has built up a strong relationship with Tyrone football manager Mickey Harte, expressed profound sorrow and sadness this week at the tragic death of his daughter Michaela in Mauritius.

The football supremo has been a regular visitor to Clonmel to present medals to club players.

The club was represented at the funeral in Tyrone on Monday.

Said club PRO Kieran Hogan - "We had a club meeting after Michaela's death and the sense of grief and shock was palpable. There was tremendous respect within the club for the Harte family and Michaeala's death stunned everybody involved with the club."

Club Chairman Joe Barrett and Eddie Kearney represented the club at the funeral service in Ballymacilroy on Monday.

Mickey Harte, the All-Ireland winning Tyrone manager, attended two prize giving ceremonies held by Clonmel Og in 2005 and in 2008 and maintained regular contact with officials of the club.

"He attended our 21st anniversary celebrations in Hotel Minella in 2005. Mickey Harte was guest of honour on that night. It was a great night of celebration for the club," said Mr Hogan

"He was accompanied by his wife Marian and he mentioned Michaeala in his speech. I remember speaking to him that night about the death of Cormac McAnallen which was very raw at the time," he said.

Mickey Harte returned to Clonmel in 2008 when he presented medals to the team that won the county intermediate title.

"He has kept in touch over the years with members in our club and everybody in our club were devastated by what happened in Mauritius," said Mr Hogan.

Former chairman of Clonmel Og Martin O'Brien said it was with great sadness and shock that people learned of the tragedy, particularly so because of the circumstances of the death.

In 2005 Mr O'Brien, then chairman of the club and member of Clonmel Corporation, made a presentation to Mickey Harte at the club's 21st anniversary celebrations.

"He inspired everybody who attended that function. It was a great honour for the club to have such a high profile and successful GAA man at the even. tHe was a superb speaker and everybody who attended enjoyed meeting Mickey and his wife. They are very gentle and sincere people and our thoughts are with the Harte family following this awful tragedy," said Mr O'Brien.