Joe McQuillan will referee this year’s All-Ireland football final

Cavan referee is a controversial appointment given the 2013 post-match criticism of him

The GAA has confirmed the controversial appointment of Cavan's Joe McQuillan as Sunday week's All-Ireland final referee.

The Kill Shamrocks clubman previously refereed the 2013 final between this year's finalists Mayo and Dublin, and the 2011 decider in which Dublin also won (beating Kerry).

McQuillan was heavily criticised following the most recent of those, with Dublin manager Jim Gavin claiming that his team were playing against 16 men in their 2-12 to 1-14 win.

While Mayo's manager at the time, James Horan, claimed that the referee had told his players there were 30 seconds remaining before Cillian O'Connor's free made it a one point game in the final minute of additional time. That being the reason he went for a point, rather than trying to engineer a goal scoring opportunity. McQuillan blew the final whistle after the free was scored.


McQuillan has also refereed the All-Ireland Under 21 final in 2006, All Ireland Senior Club final in 2008, three Leinster finals, one Munster final and two Ulster finals.

In this year's Football Championship, he has refereed the quarter-final between Roscommon and Mayo, Ulster final between Tyrone and Down, Leinster semi-final between Meath and Kildare, and the Connacht semi-final between Galway and Mayo.

“It is great honour, with two big teams in it, so I’m just delighted,” the experienced official told the GAA’s official website. “I found out this morning. I knew I was on the shortlist, but until you get the phone call you are still never sure who is going to do it.”

McQuillan's umpires on the day will be Ciarán Brady, TP Gray (all Kill Shamrocks), Jimmy Galligan (Killygarry) and Mickie Lee (Drumalee).

Cork's Conor Lane will be the standby referee. The other linesman is Padraig O'Sullivan (Kerry) and the Sideline official will be Niall Cullen (Fermanagh).

Anthony Nolan, who will be officiating the Minor final, is a member of the Baltinglass club.

In this year's senior football championship, Anthony has refereed the quarter-final replay between Roscommon and Mayo, the Round 4A fixture between Galway and Donegal, the Leinster final between Dublin and Kildare, the Round 1 Qualifier between Laois and Longford, and the Connacht semi-final between Roscommon and Leitrim. He also refereed the Division Three final between Louth and Tipperary.

His umpires on the day will be Damien Byrne (Kiltegan), Donal O'Keefe (Annacurra), Peter Case (Donard/Glen) and Patrick Doyle (Rathnew).

Mayo's Jerome Henry will be the standby referee, the other linesman is James Molloy (Galway) and the Sideline Official will be Martin McNally (Monaghan).

Eamon Donoghue

Eamon Donoghue

Eamon Donoghue is a former Irish Times journalist