Referees need to be made accountable

Michael Duffy’s performance as referee in the Down v Monaghan game on Sunday is something that needs to be reviewed as a matter of urgency by the GAA.

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I know Pat McEnaney has said Duffy holds his hand up over Tommy Freeman’s goal but that’s all very well at this stage, seeing as Down came back and won the match.  Imagine if Monaghan had gone through. Imagine the fall-out.

And what happens? Nothing. Duffy gets another game six days later – Longford v Derry in the qualifiers on Saturday evening. How can that be right? How can there be no price to pay for such a huge mistake? If a player made a howler like that, he’d be for the bench and rightly so. But referees carry on as if there are no consequences.

The standard of refereeing is the shabbiest part of the GAA, purely because we don’t take it seriously. We wave it off and say they have a hard job to do but we don’t support them in doing it. Of course they have a hard job, which is why I think they should be paid.

I’ve been saying it for ages – no player would have a problem with a referee getting paid if it meant they were better at the job. They’re such a crucial part of the game and we’re far too blasé about it.

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