By Eoghan Cormican
Mourneabbey manager Shane Ronayne has alleged that a “television official” made the call which saw Laura Fitzgerald’s goal during the first half of yesterday’s All-Ireland club final ruled out for square ball.
Ronayne has called on the LGFA to be more open and transparent in how match officials are adjudicating on contentious scores after Saturday’s decider was held up for several minutes as referee Maggie Farrelly and two of her umpires deliberated on the legality of Fitzgerald’s goal.
The corner-forward was deemed to be in the square before the ball arrived, a call Ronayne believes came from upstairs, but the disallowed goal did not end up proving critical to the outcome as Mourneabbey came out on top by 2-9 to 0-14 to successfully retain the All-Ireland club title
“I’ve no issue if the right decision is being made. To be told by a sideline official that it is umpires discussing it, the decision was in no way made by the umpires,” said Ronayne.
I’ve never seen umpires discuss any decision for that long. They were holding their ears while they were doing it. If it is being made by a tv official, fair enough, but tell us that is the way the rulebook has gone.
“Everybody in the whole ground could see what was going on, the LGFA know it as well, but they won’t admit it. I wish they did because we could all move on and know what is going on. All the decisions can then be made properly and there will be no more mistakes in ladies football, that’ll be great for the game. But don’t tell us that it is the umpires making [the decision] because it is laughable for the LGFA to come out with that.
“I’ll probably get in trouble for saying this. I don’t know why I should get in trouble for saying it because the whole country is talking about it now. It happened during the summer, as well.”
Ronayne was keen to stress his issue was not with a free-out being given for a square ball, but rather the process at which that decision was arrived at.
“I’ve no issue if the right decision was made. I want the right decisions made. If I had lost an All-Ireland because of a goal that shouldn’t have been given, we’d be very upset.”
“The decision was made, but I don’t think anybody should be telling us it was made by the umpires. It is not fair. We are all intelligent people. We put hours of work into this, so do Kilkerrin-Clonberne. Don’t be telling us it wasn’t a tv official. Right decision made, happy days, but be open and transparent that that is what is going on in the game.”