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Timekeeping is not the biggest issue facing referees

Colm Keys


Concerns over hooter can be addressed but the men in black get it right more than wrong

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Time gentlemen please: Referee Sean Hurson speaks with Meath boss Andy McEntee, who voiced concerns with timekeeping after Sunday’s game. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Time gentlemen please: Referee Sean Hurson speaks with Meath boss Andy McEntee, who voiced concerns with timekeeping after Sunday’s game. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Time gentlemen please: Referee Sean Hurson speaks with Meath boss Andy McEntee, who voiced concerns with timekeeping after Sunday’s game. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Discreetly tucked away in the corner of almost every stand in every primary GAA county ground in the country is a hooter system, complete with wiring, lying as obsolete as some of those electronic voting machines commissioned for election purposes in 2002.

Like the electronic voting machines, the hooter systems were never put into widespread use. Unlike the electronic voting machines, subsequently scrapped at a colossal financial loss to the State, the fate of the hooter systems is not so clear.

Twice in the last decade, GAA Congress approved their use on foot of motions from counties and the Football Review Committee and twice Central Council subsequently advised against it, once in 2010 on the basis of cost and then in 2014 when a number of concerns, trends and anomalies were identified after a series of road-tests in third-level competitions.