GAA ref chief calls Joe Brolly's analysis 'unacceptable'

GAABy Sunday World
Joe Brolly, in the firing line again
Joe Brolly, in the firing line again

The GAA's head of referees development Sean Walsh has said the nature of the criticism of referee Maurice Deegan by analyst Joe Brolly on RTE's 'The Sunday Game' is "unacceptable."

Walsh said the former Derry footballer should withdraw his comments relating to Deegan's failure to award a penalty to Tyrone's Padraig McNulty following a challenge from Aidan O'Mahony.

Brolly said Deegan "did something to Tyrone today which normally happens between consenting adults" before adding: "It was an obvious penalty and there's no point in trying to gloss over that."

Brolly has already provoked the ire of the referees' committee for his remarks about Padraig Hughes for his decision to give a penalty to Kerry in the drawn Munster final against Cork.

They wrote to RTE on that occasion seeking a withdrawal of those remarks in addition to challenging former Cork hurler Donal Og Cusack's analysis of a Limerick goal from Paul Browne in their qualifier game against Westmeath which he claimed was wide.

Cusack apologised on the show to referee Paud O'Dwyer on the following weekend after new video evidence proved it was the right call.

It is understood that the referees' committee are still awaiting clarity from the station relating to the remarks made about Hughes.

But the latest outburst is sure to prompt further dialogue over the levels that commentary on referees is reaching.

Walsh said it was clear on 'The Sunday Game' later on Sunday evening that Deegan had been correct in his decision not to award a penalty.

"He had that decision in real time and he made a correct decision as far as we are concerned, just as David Coldrick did in the Kerry-Kildare game," said Walsh.

"But with the benefit of so many different camera angles after the game, it was still being claimed that it was a penalty."

The referees' body are becoming increasingly concerned at the personalised nature of the criticism being aimed at their officials.

GAA president Aogan O Fearghail also had harsh words yesterday for 'The Sunday Game', describing some of the commentary on the programme as "tiresome."

Colm Keys/