Wednesday 22 October 2014

Pitch invader 'wanted to know what ref was at'

Sam Griffin and Claire McCormack

Published 01/09/2014 | 02:30

30 August 2014; A disgruntled Mayo supporter is restrained as he tries to confront referee Cormac Reilly during the closing stages of the game. GAA Football All Ireland Senior Championship, Semi-Final Replay, Kerry v Mayo, Gaelic Grounds, Limerick. Picture credit: Dáire Brennan / SPORTSFILE
A disgruntled Mayo supporter is restrained as he tries to confront referee Cormac Reilly during the closing stages of the game. GAA Football All Ireland Senior Championship, Semi-Final Replay, Kerry v Mayo, Gaelic Grounds, Limerick. Picture credit: Dáire Brennan / SPORTSFILE
Mayo GAA fan Mick Barett, Castlebar wanted to speak to referee in Limerick  in Mayo v Kerry All-Ireland semifinal
Mayo GAA fan Mick Barett, Castlebar wanted to speak to referee in Limerick in Mayo v Kerry All-Ireland semifinal
30 August 2014; Kerry and Mayo players clash during extra time as referee Cormac Reilly and his umpires keep watch. GAA Football All Ireland Senior Championship, Semi-Final Replay, Kerry v Mayo. Gaelic Grounds, Limerick. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
Kerry and Mayo players clash during extra time as referee Cormac Reilly and his umpires keep watch. GAA Football All Ireland Senior Championship, Semi-Final Replay, Kerry v Mayo. Gaelic Grounds, Limerick. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

THE "big Mayo fan" who confronted the referee in the dying moments of Saturday's All-Ireland football semi-final replay said he "just wanted to know what the referee was at".

Mick Barrett, from Castlebar town, said he couldn't believe the reaction after it took six security personnel to remove him from the pitch at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick near the end of the game between Kerry and Mayo.

The GAA fanatic - who caused consternation after running onto the pitch, despite the best efforts of his daughter - was later pictured in a Supermac's fast-food restaurant in Limerick, where he was mobbed by supporters from both his native county and those from the victorious Kerry camp.

"All that was wrong with me was the referee... I don't know how some of it was let go," a still exasperated Mr Barrett told the Irish Independent from his home in Castlebar last night, when asked why he had decided to intervene so forcefully.

"It wasn't any specific calls, but just the general play.

"I just don't know. I just can't understand it."

Mr Barrett said he wasn't the only one that was unhappy with several incidents, including the decision by referee Cormac O'Reilly's to give two frees to Kerry in extra time.

He also cited a failure to produce more black cards before Kerry lost captain Fionn Fitzgerald for a foul with just 15 minutes of normal time remaining.

The life-long Mayo fan said he was so incensed that he wanted to address these issues with the referee and pushed past security personnel to make his way onto the pitch.

"I wanted to ask him what was he at," he said. "That was all I wanted to know, which I did ask him when I got close to him. I asked him what was he at, but he didn't answer.

"He said 'Where did you come out of?'

"But he wouldn't say anything more.

Mr Barrett said that the security guards brought him back to the stand and said he had "no problem" with how he was treated following his intervention.

"They were doing their job," he said.

He said he received a "big reception" in Supermac's after the game, but dismissed his new-found fame and vowed he would remain in his seat in future.

Irish Independent

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