Friday 19 January 2018

Armagh referee taken off Royals' showdown

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

An Armagh referee has been taken off a Meath-Galway football qualifier tie for the second time.

Padraig Hughes was due to take charge of the Round 2 game in Navan on Saturday evening but has been replaced due to the role of his fellow county man, Paul Grimley, as assistant to Meath manager, Seamus McEnaney.

Michael Collins (Cork), who refereed the Galway-Meath 2001 All-Ireland final, will now take charge.

Four years ago, a controversy arose after it emerged that Armagh's Jimmy McKee had been replaced by Maurice Deegan (Laois) following a request from Meath for a change of referee for a Round 4 qualifier game with Galway.

Meath were unhappy with McKee's handling of their drawn Leinster quarter-final clash with Dublin some weeks earlier and while not formally objecting to his appointment for the Galway game, they let it be known to the appointments committee that they would prefer another referee. Their request was granted.

Deegan's appointment drew complaints from Galway on the basis that they were playing a Leinster team at a Leinster venue (Portlaoise), but they were ignored. Meath won by three points.

Collins drew some criticism in Meath in 2001 for sending off Nigel Nestor in the second half of the All-Ireland final, which Galway won by nine points.

Irish Independent

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