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Dublin: 11°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

Tyrone blame referee Maurice Deegan for All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Kerry

Tyrone GAA secretary Dominic McCaughey was not impressed by Deegan’s handling of the Kingdom defeat.

Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

MAURICE DEEGAN’S REFEREEING performance in the 2015 All-Ireland senior football semi-final contributed to Tyrone’s defeat, according to board county secretary Dominic McCaughey.

Writing in his annual report, McCaughey claims that the Red Hands were denied a late penalty for a “clear foul” as Kerry held on for victory.

“Played in incessant rain, Tír Eoghain displayed outstanding skill, fierce determination and relentless intensity but the inability to convert several goal opportunities and a number of missed free-kicks, together with a few highly-questionable refereeing decisions resulted in a very narrow defeat,” McCaughey writes. 

“In an engrossing opening half the teams were evenly matched with Ciarraí edging ahead 0-8 to 0-7 in added time.

“The Munster champions opened out a four point lead in the third quarter but the sides were level once again with eight minutes of normal time remaining.

“In the closing stages of the game, the failure to award a penalty to the Red Hands for a clear foul ensured the opportunity of appearing in a first final since 2008 slipped away, for another year.”

Gavin Devlin Referee Maurice Deegan with Tyrone selector Gavin Devlin and Tiernan McCann. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

McCaughey’s comments are in direct contrast to those issued by chairman of the county’s Referees Committee, Eugene McConnell, who is calling for “due respect” to be shown to the men in black.

Under the heading ‘Give Respect, Get Respect’, McConnell writes: ”This has been the motto used to encourage GAA supporters to show the due respect to our referees while at the same time stressing the need amongst referees that if they show similar sentiments then it will work both ways.

“A very sound piece of advice if everyone takes heed and practice what they preach.

“No one can deny “without a referee, there will be no game” –  an undeniable fact.

“Sadly there is still a greater need for the appreciation of the role of a referee.

“All too often talk is cheap and the poor referee still bears the brunt of all the criticism and ridicule.

“The easy option is to blame the referee, it’s always his fault.

“If we are deadly serious about respect, it has to come from the top down, GAA officials, team managers, mentors, trainers, the players must all lead from the front.

Source: Cathal Noonan

“If they are seen to be the role model as regards total respect shown to the referee and his officials, then the example will soon rub off.

“There can be no tolerance to allowing anyone to show disrespect towards the referee.

“The referee must be shown equal treatment similar to that shown towards the players, then when both are deemed as equal, both will be shown and given the due respect they rightly deserve.”

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