Controversy over Leinster final
Madam, – The ether has been in tumult since the conclusion of Sunday’s Leinster Football Final – and small wonder. Since it is likely to be a while before the tumult and associated shouting dies, it is worth giving brief and calm consideration to the facts of this matter.
Louth were denied their first Leinster title in 53 years by a last-minute Meath goal. There is a consensus that at least one, and probably two, fouls were committed by Meath players in the lead-up to the goal. After the final whistle, the referee was assaulted a number of times by Louth supporters. Most prominent among those protecting the referee from further assault were Louth players and officials.
The pursuit of justice in relation to these assaults is a matter for the Garda and ultimately the courts. The prompt delivery of justice to the Louth players and their true supporters is wholly in the hands of the GAA.
The point has been made more than once, since Joe Sheridan crossed the line, that if the association can use video evidence, post factum, to call individual players to account for breach of discipline, then it can and must use the same technology to redress injustice on the broader scale. The ill-judged actions of a few thugs do nothing to refute this logic. – Yours, etc.,
Madam, – On entering the designated family stand, the Davin stand, for the Louth-Meath game, my eight-year-old son was stopped by a member of the Garda, who informed us that he would have to confiscate or at least retain until the end of the match the “plastic horn” that he was carrying. I asked the Garda to confirm that I was hearing right as my son offered to part with the horn.
The Garda did indeed confirm that the GAA had enlisted the civil powers of the country to ensure that no such horns were to be allowed into Croke Park on Sunday.
I thought that this was an admirable use of resources and involved some strategic organisation and planning. It is a great pity that the GAA had not used the same determination and grit in ensuring that the officials could have safe passage off the playing field as well. – Yours, etc,
Madam, – The outcome of the game between Louth and Meath on Sunday was coming for a long time.
The GAA has, for years, allowed the lowest standards of refereeing to prevail from under-eight football upwards. The low standard of refereeing encourages cheating and cute hoorism and rewards it. Young people learn this quickly and bring it with them through life and some of them end up in positions of power where they then believe that the position itself allows them to do as they wish with no accountability or responsibility.
The GAA has a duty now to put a stop to it and award the game to Louth and ban the referee from any further involvement with GAA matches. A replay will not do. The chances are that Meath will not make the same mistakes twice and will win comfortably. If this were to happen then their cheating would be rewarded.
As long as the GAA do not fix these problems I will not be telling my children to “respect” a referee or his decisions unless the referee has earned that respect. – Yours, etc,
Madam, – I wonder what have Diego Maradona, Thierry Henry, and now Joe Sheridan got in common? – Yours, etc,