Referee Joe McQuillan is confronted by Kildare supporters after the game. INPHO/Donall Farmer

GAA to review stadium policies in Newbridge after fans jostle referee McQuillan

Director-General Paraic Duffy has described the scenes as ‘completely unacceptable’.

THE GAA ARE set to review stadium policies for future games at St Conleth’s Park in Newbridge in the wake of referee Joe McQuillan being jostled by irate Kildare fans after last Saturday night’s defeat to Tyrone.

Director-General Paraic Duffy has described the situation as ‘absolutely unacceptable’ and accepted that the GAA at national level are culpable as the game was a fixture arranged by Central Council.

Kildare lost the Round 3 qualifier in the All-Ireland senior football championship by two points to Mickey Harte’s Tyrone side.

But the aftermath was marred by the Cavan referee being confronted by angry supporters as he attempted to leave the pitch underneath the main stand.

“There cannot be a situation where referees have to walk from the pitch into dressing rooms via an area that is open,” outlined Duffy.

“In fairness, maybe we should hold our hands up on that part. What happened to us on Saturday underlined that there is an issue in Newbridge and that will have to be addressed before there is a game there again.

“It doesn’t mean it can’t be used, but that issue with referee safety was absolutely unacceptable. It shouldn’t have happened.

“It’s our fixture – there’s no point me passing the buck to anybody else. It was a Central Council fixture, therefore the responsibility rests with us.

“You can say it was a Kildare venue, but essentially it’s a Central Council fixture so the onus is on us. I’m not going to blame anybody else.

“It’s our responsibility to steward the fixtures, and what happened on Saturday night was absolutely unacceptable and it’s up to us to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

INPHO/Donall Farmer

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