Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Joe Kernan: O’Neill’s bold call for video evidence deserves support

It's early days yet but both Liam O’Neill and Con Hogan have already lobbed their hats into the ring in the hope of succeeding Christy Cooney as President of the GAA.

I have to admit that I am particularly enamoured with O’Neill’s declaration that he would favour the introduction of video evidence as a means of perhaps negating the controversies which have bedevilled football this year in particular.

While we have just witnessed one of the most exciting championships in years, sadly it was besmirched by some calamitous refereeing calls that certainly did the GAA few favours.

Here I thinking in particular of the decision of Tyrone referee Martin Sludden to allow Joe Sheridan’s ‘goal’ for Meath to stand against Louth and Pat McEnaney’s failure to spot that Benny Coulter was clearly in the square when he made contact with the ball that led to a Down goal against Kildare.

If O’Neill required any further evidence to substantiate his proposed bid to bring in video evidence then incidents such as these surely provided it.

The GAA is a big, vibrant organisation and there were many, many championship matches staged each summer without any untoward incidents. Yet a few contentious calls linger in the mind of everyone and blight what might have been a terrific contest.

If video evidence will help erase much of the disquiet and embarrassment that emanates from ill-judged calls by whistlers, let’s have it forthwith.

Liam O’Neill has nailed his colours to the mast in this respect. It will be interesting to observe the level of support he receives.

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