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Hawk-Eye fails to get over the line at Croker ... until August at least

Score-detection technology will not be in operation at Croke Park until August at the earliest.

And there is still the prospect that plans to introduce the Hawk-Eye system may have to be shelved for this season altogether as more difficulties arise.

The technology has experienced difficulties in some of the trials it has undergone in GAA Headquarters so far.

It was rolled out for the National League football finals at the end of April and again for the Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Lory Meagher hurling finals earlier this month.

It had been scheduled to come into operation for the summer on June 3 for the Leinster quarter-final double-header between Longford and Wexford and Dublin and Louth.

But the GAA's director of games development, Pat Daly, has acknowledged that further trials are still required before it can be cleared for operation.

Those trials will take place during next week's Leinster hurling final between Kilkenny and Galway and the Leinster football final on July 22.

It will be the All-Ireland football quarter-finals at the earliest before Hawk-Eye technology can become a part of the official team.

But even now there are doubts that it can happen in 2012 at all. "It would be wrong to put a date on this. When it does come in we want everything about it to be right," said Daly, who admitted that it would not feature for any Leinster championship matches.

The GAA looked to the technology company in late 2010 as the number of disputed scores began to stack up.

In May, testing began for the use of the technology in soccer when it was trialled at St Mary's, the home ground of Southampton FC. At the time there were reports that it wold cost £250,000 (just over €311,500) to install at each ground.

One of the core elements of recent trials at Croke Park has been the facility to relay the decision instantly to TV viewers. This would open a significant sponsorship avenue which could help to deflect costs for the two-year trial.

Irish Independent

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