Already under pressure from TV, radio and print journalists across the country for the standard of football, the GAA received another blow to its image after a raid on Armagh Planetarium found high-tech telescopes and satellite devices pointed directly at various locations in Tyrone including their GAA headquarters in Garvaghey and Sean Cavanagh’s back garden.
Suspicions were raised on Tuesday night after players noticed a ‘hovering star with flashing red lights on it’ during county training which was later confirmed by NASA as an Armagh-made satellite named ArmNav. The 13-acre floating structure was sending images back to the planetarium where Kieran McGeeney and other members of the Armagh management team dissected the information in preparation for a potential clash between the counties later in the Summer.
During the dawn raid, the PSNI astronomical investigation team also found some of the most powerful telescopes on the planet trained on a garden in the The Moy, suspected to be that owned by Tyrone captain Sean Cavanagh. DVDs seized showed hundreds of hours of footage of Cavanagh in his garden doing shimmies and pulling down trees as well as a few mid-winter barbecue sessions.
A Tyrone County Board official told us:
“Right, it has gone too far. This paranoia within the game is destroying us. Defensive tactics look like child’s play compared to the efforts of McGeeney’s back room team. Apparently one of the telescopes was able to see right into Mickey Harte’s kitchen, where he often draw tactics on conflate boxes and stuff.”
The finger of suspicion has fallen on a female Armagh-born employee in the planetarium with strong links to the Moy through marriage. An insider, who wished to remain nameless, confirmed the character in question seemed to work late shifts a lot more since the new year and appeared to be wearing fresh Armagh gear every week.