have your say
still in short supply
I wish to compliment your writer Eamonn Sweeney on his excellent columns, which I always enjoy reading, and in particular last week's on his visit to this year's Connacht final and his night at the dogs.
I'm writing this letter, though, in relation to his piece on referees and the problems within refereeing over the past number of years. I speak from over 20 years' experience as an umpire at the highest level having officiated at All-Ireland level in hurling and local and provincial in football. Having listened to the Kerry-Westmeath game on Radio Kerry, it would appear that referee Martin Higgins was very hard on Westmeath, and comments by Bernard Flynn on the Monday would make you believe that. Pat McEneaney was appointed referees' co-ordinator and that seemed a good appointment, but time will tell.
Over the past few years there have been very controversial games, I suppose the worst being the Louth v Meath Leinster final in 2010, square ball decisions in Kildare v Meath and Kildare v Down. In last year's All-Ireland final it seemed that many of Joe McQuillan's calls favoured Dublin, which was pointed out after the game by many journalists. But the most disturbing aspect of that was that after the final it became known that Joe McQuillan had taken charge of Dublin A v B training games. This is something that happens of course but I hope that Pat McEnaney will put a stop to it.
On the job of the umpire, they now seem to have very little power as regards allowing scores and the square ball rule calls, which we saw in the Munster final with Nicholas Murphy's goal which should not have been allowed. The only referee that seems to use his umpires well at the moment is Brian Gavin.
Having watched the Kerry v Tyrone game, I was very surprised with the comments of Mickey Harte on referee David Coldrick, who had a sensible game in difficult conditions. It was plain to see that somebody would walk. Mickey Harte suggested that David Coldrick's refereeing does not benefit their game; well, it's plain to see that a strong referee does not suit Tyrone as they aren't allowed to pull and drag their opponents.
Tribute to Alliss
better than OBE
It was a cracking article [July 22] by Tommy Conlon on the "Prince Philip" of sports broadcasting, and a little reminder that some of the best journalism can often be found in the sports pages. I have little or no interest in golf, but am old enough to remember Peter Alliss. I suspect that he might more pleased by this tribute than the OBE he turned down 10 years ago. He should be sent a copy.
Ordinary teams on and off the pitch
I agree with Eamonn Sweeney's article on RTE's panel [July 1].
When Eamon Dunphy calls the Germans an ordinary team it shows the guy doesn't really know what he is talking about. He brings talking shite to a new level. The Germans were in the semi-finals in 2006, the final of 2008 and the semi-finals of 2010 and 2012. Not bad for an ordinary team. God help us in the autumn.
Eamon says the Spanish don't sing their national anthem out of respect for the differing cultural background of the players even though their anthem has no words. Personally, I think Liam Brady is the most knowledgeable.
RTE's tired troika needs freshening
Eamonn Sweeney managed to articulate about Gilbranphy what I and a number of my friends have been thinking for a long time. They are a tired troika who need some freshening up.
Their dismissal of Ronaldo is nothing new. They have been doing it since the '80s (well Gilphy anyway -- remember 'Platini is not a great player!!!' etc). Keep up the good work and remain the highlight of my Sunday reading.
Sunday Indo Sport