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Marc Ó Sé calls for GAA to introduce TMO and mic up referees

‘The training that goes on all year long, and for it to come down to little decisions like this. It’s a tough one.’

Conor Lane indicates a shoulder tackle as Eoghan McLaughlin lies injured.
Conor Lane indicates a shoulder tackle as Eoghan McLaughlin lies injured.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Updated Aug 17th 2021, 7:45 PM

MARC Ó SÉ says it’s time for the GAA to introduce a television match official (TMO) similar to rugby, while he’d also like to see officials mic’d up. 

Conor Lane’s refereeing performance in Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final between Dublin and Mayo drew widespread criticism.

Lane’s decision not to immediately halt play after John Small’s heavy hit that left Eoghan McLaughlin with a double jaw fracture almost led to Colm Basquel scoring a goal that may have put the game beyond Mayo. 

Speaking on the latest episode of The42′s GAA Weekly, Kerry legend Ó Sé said some assistance from a TMO would make life easier on referees.

“I’ve said this on so many occasions with referees. The best illustration is the 2015 All-Ireland final. There was a video done afterwards. David Coldrick was the referee and he was talking to the players.

“It was like the rugby, he was hooked up to the mics. I think there should be a video ref. Where he’s hooked up and every single TV in the country [can hear it], and there was nearly one million watching that game last Saturday night.

“Can you imagine if there’s a situation where Conor Lane is in a bit of bother and he says, ‘Can I just go to the TMO there, can you review that one for me there again? Because I’m thinking it’s this.’ You’re able to get another fella’s opinion and bring it in. 

“I think if you’re mic’d up also it’s going out [on air], the players will be respectful because they know if they’re close to the ref it’s going to be heard on TV. It’s really important that we make the referee’s job a bit easier.

“That was a tough game to ref the last day. Fair enough he had a poor game, but it was a tough game to ref. I think we need to make their jobs easier. Bring in TMO and the referees to be mic’d up.

“And I think that’ll make it a lot easier because the training that goes on all year long, and for it to come down to little decisions like this, and Eoghan McLaughlin to miss out on an All-Ireland final as well. It’s a tough one.”

Reflecting on Dublin’s loss of discipline, he said: “When games like that start slipping on you, then discipline starts slipping.

“I’ve seen it in the past, I’ve seen it with my own two brothers,” he laughed.

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“They want to get their pound of flesh. It happens and it’s unfortunate. These are players that won six in-a-row and then for the game to be going down the wrong end, sometimes that happens where ill-discipline comes in.

“Especially if there’s a decision or two that goes against you then, you might feel aggrieved. But with the John Small, Paddy Small and James McCarthy [incidents], they are fantastic footballers and they’re players that you want on your team. But they do sail close to the edge on occasions and on this occasion they certainly did.”

To listen to the full episode, go to members.the42.ie.

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