: We’re working together for the last seventeen years so we know each other well.
It got pretty feisty, it was a fair baptism of fire. Martin’s won by a couple of points and Buffer’s Alley probably disputed a couple of frees.
: Chatting to you and so on. The likes of Donal Óg Cusack and Brendan Cummins would talk away, during national league games they’d certainly be chatting to you. But they were very decent if you wanted a hurley or anything down the line for the club. They would have been very good to people like that.
: The first time I umpired at an All-Ireland final it hit me as soon as I went out onto the playing field, absolutely it did.
When you go down to the goal in Croke Park you’re conscious of it all the time. Not only do you have seventy or eighty thousand in the ground, but you’re aware of a million people or whatever it is looking at you on television. You’d feel that. You’d have to.
: Galway and Kilkenny were level when the Galway keeper dropped a free from deep in his own half all the way down onto the Kilkenny crossbar. PJ Ryan was in goal for Kilkenny and he got his hurley up to it, but it just got over the bar — a matter of two or three inches but it was over. I looked over at the other umpire and he nodded, so I went for the flag. PJ had the ball down and cleared out the field while I was waving the flag, Ger Loughnane was over Galway and he was in roaring at Dickie. We were wired up so I got the word to him.
: But typical Kilkenny, Eddie Brennan had a couple of goals a few minutes later and it was all over.
: That was coming towards the end of their great rivalry, and Tipp won by a couple of points. Because it was Páirc Ui Chaoimh, with no actual tunnel, there was a line of gardaí shepherding us out for the second half. It was absolutely electric, but I always found Páirc Ui Chaoimh to have a better atmosphere even than Thurles. It wasn’t an easy game for Dickie to handle, either, but he did a great job.
: Nothing is like playing but it’s great to be part of a big day out, off at half nine in the morning and back at nine that night.
: I think there’s something about them. There’s a history there, you see clips of old, old All-Ireland finals and the umpires all have the white coats. It’s tradition.