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Give our referees some tech help: Dunne


Champions: Liam Sheedy, Eamon O’Shea and Tommy Dunne celebrate
Champions: Liam Sheedy, Eamon O’Shea and Tommy Dunne celebrate

By Donnchadh Boyle

Tipperary's All-Ireland winning coach Tommy Dunne has called for the GAA to turn to technology to assist referees on the GAA's biggest days.

The Premier were the beneficiar­ies of the decision to send off Richie Hogan in Sunday's All-Ireland final but were on the other side of a few key decisions in their All-Ireland semi-final win over Wexford.

And the 2001 All-Ireland winning captain Dunne insists that while the men in the middle can't be expected to get everything right, they should be allowed use every tool available to them.

"We all understand the refereeing situation and how difficult it is, it is very, very difficult," said the Toome­vara man.

"The Wexford game was a bizarre game, there is no point in saying oth­erwise. And you have to take it on the chin. Some days the decisions fall your way, other days they don't.

"Officials try to do the best they can. And it is impossible to get everything right, it really is. But it is certainly time to look at giving them the sup­port, the functional support, that can make a difference to them, so they have eight or nine out of 10 rated games as opposed to decisions that are going wrong and that they are costing games to team.

"I am not saying it will ever be a 100%, but surely it can be closer to 100% than it is now."

Dunne revealed that he would be in favour of a video referee who could review key moments and believes any such move could be trialled in next year's league.

"I think there has to be a technical component to it, where they can look at the decision on a replay and make the decision based on that. Some­thing like that.

"Having to make an off-the-cuff decision on something they may not have seen is madness in ways… let's try something during the league and let's see."

Cathal Barrett, who was at the cen­tre of the incident that saw Hogan dismissed, believes referee James Owens made the correct decision to send the Kilkenny man off.

"It's a full-time job playing hurling. It's heartbreaking for someone to get sent off. It's not something I like to see. It's hard to know. It's a head-high tackle so it must be a red," he said.

"I wouldn't have liked to see him go myself. It's the biggest day of the year. You're training nine months for it and it's kind of taken from you. It's not nice."

Kilkenny boss Brian Cody is still struggling to come to terms with the decision to show Hogan a 33rd-minute red.

The card shown to Hogan for a head-high shoulder charge on Barrett clearly irks Cody and, while not making any excuses for their comprehen­sive reversal, he refuses to allow the Danesfort forward to be scapegoated.

"Certainly to scapegoat him would be outrageous... outrageous, com­pletely. He didn't produce the red card," said Cody.

"I'm not going to start pontificat­ing about this and that and I don't want any message coming across from here that we're complaining or whingeing or anything like that. Do we believe it was a red card? No, I don't.

"Was it a dirty game? Was it a clean game? Was there bits and pieces of physicality in it as there should be? Was there a huge decision made coming up to half-time controver­sially? That's the reality you know."

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