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All Ireland Football Championship: Down goal shows it’s time for videos to come in, says GAA official

A top administrator has called for the GAA to embrace video technology where it can to determine scores in the wake of the latest controversy.

Benny Coulter's ‘goal' changed the course of Sunday's All-Ireland football final and was the catalyst for a magnificent Down performance.

But it has left Kildare wondering what might have been after their brisk start to the semi-final on Sunday.

Now Liam O'Neill, the defeated presidential candidate when Christy Cooney succeeded in 2008 and the probable favourite to take over from the Cork man next April, has reiterated his view that the GAA has to explore the feasability of using instant video replays to assist referees and match officials in making key decisions on scores.

“I think it simply has to happen. There is too much expertise around for it not to be at least experimented with,” he said.

“Obviously there would be problems with logistics. Not enough cameras at one venue and so on. But you have to use what you have at your disposal,” said O'Neill.

“The facilities are there in Croke Park.

“The GAA has advanced a lot in so many areas and in the determination of scores and square balls that results in scores recourse to video should be used.”

McEnaney consulted with his umpires at the Canal End after Coulter had got the touch to Martin Clarke's cross field pass.

McEnaney's umpires are among the most experienced in the game and include well known referee Joe McQuillan from Cavan.

Another experienced Cavan referee Jimmy Galligan was at the Hill 16 End with McQuillan while Jimmy Finnegan, a long time official with McEnaney and a former referee himself and Mark Gilsenan were at the end where Coulter got the touch.

McQuillan is apparently adamant that Alan Smith's ‘point' that wasn't in the sixth minute could not be adjudged to have been a score.

A camera from behind the goal would suggest that it was.

The current GAA president Christy Cooney expressed his opposition to video technology being deployed after the Leinster final controversy when referee's chief Mick Curley also stressed there was no appetite for it.

But the latest incident may now force a rethink into what help can be given to match officials on the day.

Belfast Telegraph


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