21 November, 2011

GAA: referee violence raises ugly head once again:

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CONTROVERSIAL FINISH: Corofin v Saint Brigid's
            In one of the biggest Connacht club games in five years;  St. Bridgits (Roscommon) beat Corofin (Galway) by 11points to 10 yesterday (Sunday).  That is not the reason I am writing this story however.  Referee Liam Devaney was jostled by supporters after the final whistle and had to be escorted off the field. 
             Whilst he had made a number of questionable decisions (including awarding 19 frees to the winning side compared to just seven for the losers and the disallowing of a goal for a 'sqare' ball);  what happened at the final whistle was unacceptable.
            Had stewards (and eventually Gardaí) not intervened, there can be little doubt that Mr. Devaney would be struck at least once and could have been sincerely injured.  Whatever decision he did or didn't make, did not merit that. 
             Whilst what happened to Mr. Devaney was beyond reproach;  the Connacht GAA Council needs to be questionned also for awarding such an inexperienced referee, such a high profile mixture.  Mr. Devaney had previously refereed an intermediate Connacht final but had no experience whatsoever of this (senior) more vaunted level.      That is no excuse for the thuggery witnessed at the end of yesterday's game though.
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