GAA President Liam O’Neill happy for referees to make use of big-screen replays
GAA president Liam O'Neill has no issue if match officials use the big screen in Croke Park to aid decision-making in future -- so long as the correct call is made.
The issue of score-detection technology raised its head in last weekend's Leinster SFC final clash between Meath and Dublin when a replay on Croke Park's big screens clearly showed Eoghan O'Gara's point attempt flash inside the posts after it had been waved wide by the umpires and referee Marty Duffy.
Croke Park are adamant that the stadium replay of the score had no influence on the decision to reverse the call. They insist instead that linesman Maurice Deegan saw the score in 'real time' and wasn't influenced by the big-screen replay.
And O'Neill believes the most important issue was that the right decision was made and hinted he is open to the use of similar replays in the future.
"Doing the right thing would never make me feel uncomfortable," said the Laois man. "You have to be brave enough to do the right thing and that is what we are here for. Everyone wants to see if someone gets a score that they are entitled to it. And if it's wide everyone wants to see it given wide.
"Maurice clearly had a better angle, he informed the referee and that informed the referee's decision. That was common sense in action, the right thing was done by the right people at the right time, and in time. We'd be very happy with it."
The Hawk-Eye technology won't feature this summer as issues continue to emerge with its suitability for Gaelic games, but on the strength of last weekend, TV replays are a live option.
"Technology has to catch up with our games. We all know that Hawk-Eye works, but it works in a confined space. The difficulty now is that it has to work in the size of our stadia to convey that information as quickly as it does for cricket or tennis.
"Also, posts do move and that is a difficulty. A cricket stump does not move or the line in tennis does not move, but goalposts apparently do.
"Whatever technology that will be brought in must convey the decision instantly. We are not afraid of technology -- I would try any technology that would speed up decision-making and help us do the right thing. The question is, can it be done quickly enough to convey that without holding up the game?"