Tuesday 28 February 2017

O'Neill insists GAA trial with TV technology 'has to happen'

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

A top administrator has called for the GAA to embrace video technology where it can to determine scores in the wake of the latest controversy.

Benny Coulter's goal changed the course of Sunday's All-Ireland football semi-final and was the catalyst for a magnificent Down display. But it has left Kildare wondering what might have been after their brisk start.

Now Liam O'Neill, the defeated presidential candidate when Christy Cooney succeeded in 2008 and the probable favourite to take over from the Cork man next April, has reiterated his view that the GAA has to explore the feasibility of using instant video replays to assist referees and match officials in making key decisions on scores.

"I think it simply has to happen. There is too much expertise around for it not to be at least experimented with," he said. "There would be problems with logistics. Not enough cameras at one venue and so on. But you have to use what you have at your disposal."

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"The facilities are there in Croke Park. The GAA has advanced a lot in so many areas, and in the determination of scores and square balls that result in scores, recourse to video should be used."

Ref Pat McEnaney consulted with his umpires -- who are among the game's most experienced and which include Cavan inter-county referee Joe McQuillan -- before deciding to award the goal.

McQuillan is apparently adamant that Alan Smith's 'point' that wasn't, in the sixth minute, could not be adjudged to have been a score. A camera from behind the goal would suggest that it was but the linesman on the Cusack Stand side was also adamant that it was narrowly wide.

GAA president Cooney expressed his opposition to video technology after the Leinster football final controversy when referee's chief Mick Curley also stressed there was no appetite for it. But the latest incident may now force a rethink into what help can be given to match officials on the day.

Irish Independent

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