Cooney calls for security review

GAA President Christy Cooney has called for a ‘serious review’ of their match day security following yesterday’s Leinster SFC final between Meath and Louth.

The game ended in ugly scenes with referee Martin Sludden struck by a number of irate supporters after awarding a controversial late goal which secured a two-point victory for the Royals (1-12 to 1-10).

Cooney was unable to make any comment on whether or not a replay may be considered but said that the mattered is set to be discussed by the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) on receipt of the report from the Tyrone official.

Cooney also warned that those involved in the unsavoury scenes after the match may find themselves in hot water with GAA authorities.

Cooney said: “The process now is that the referee will submit his report to the Central Competitions Control Committee.

“But the treatment of the referee was a disgrace. We will have to have a serious review or our security.

“We will review the video of the incident and will consider what course of action will be taken against individuals who transgressed seriously.”

Meanwhile Referees’ spokesman Mick Curley last night admitted that Martin Sludden erred in allowing Joe Sheridan’s goal.

Curley said last night: “First of all it was a mistake on Martin’s part. The attacking player cannot carry the ball over the line. It was a mistake short and simple.

“I didn’t see an umpire going for a flag initially and that is usually a signal that something is amiss. Martin then consulted with his umpires and decided to allow the goal.”

Curley was horrified by the after match scenes as Sludden was engulfed by enraged Louth people.

“It was appalling. Scenes like that should not happen anywhere in sports. Thankfully it is a very, very rare occurrence in gaelic games. But once is too often.

“Scenes like that wouldn’t encourage anyone to take up refereeing. I don’t think anyone in gaelic games would want to see that type of thing happening again.”

Curley revealed he had not spoken to Sludden following the incident but was planning to do so in the coming days.

He added: “I have not been talking to him but we will have a chat to discuss what happening soon. There is not a lot we can do now, we must just accept what happened.”

The disputed score is certain to bring the issue of video technology onto the GAA agenda again this week but Curley was last night no committal. “It will (bring the video issue back on the agenda) But that is something for another time.”


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