No sooner had the news been announced, photoshopped images of the former Tyrone manager began doing the rounds.
Fans took it upon themselves to anoint Harte as an honorary ‘Derry Girl’ with his face was superimposed onto the popular Derry Girls mural beside the City Walls.
There is no love lost between Derry and Tyrone rivals.
The news that Harte was leaving Louth for Derry caught many Oakleaf supporters by surprise.
Barrister, outspoken pundit and former All-Ireland winner with Derr yJoe Brolly summed it up in a tweet on ‘X’ social media outlet, saying: “What in the name of f***.”
Brolly’s post was quickly followed by a second tweet, stating: “This is the worst thing to happen to Derry since the plantation.”
Harte’s appointment came 30 years to the day after the Oak Leaf county won its only All-Ireland title against Cork in 1993.
While many fans were as gobsmacked, they realised that with his pedigree he could be the man to “take Derry to the next level” with the talented squad they already have.
Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan jokingly said: “He’s broken Derry hearts quite a few times over the years – please don’t do it to me again this year Mickey!”
Harte managed the Tyrone senior football team from 2002 until his resignation in 2020, at which time he was the longest-serving manager then active with the same team in inter-county competition.
He is the most successful senior manager in the county’s history.
Harte led Tyrone to three All-Ireland SFC titles, six Ulster SFC titles, one National League and an impressive 12 Dr McKenna Cups.