The Galway senior ladies football management have hit out at the appointment of Gerry Carmody to referee their Connacht final meeting with Mayo on Sunday.
Carmody was Mayo minor ladies manager in 2012 and 2013 and so would have worked with a number of the Mayo players who will take to the field in MacHale Park this weekend.
Indeed, up until two years ago, Carmody was listed as a Mayo referee, but has since changed his designation to Roscommon.
Galway officials appealed Carmody’s appointment, but Connacht LGFA top-brass dismissed this objection at a meeting on Wednesday night.
Carmody took charge of the 2016 All-Ireland semi-final between Cork and Monaghan and the 2015 All-Ireland semi-final involving Armagh and Dublin.
Galway, who are managed by Stephen Glennon, have no qualms with his ability as a referee, rather his previous association with Mayo.
A statement released by the Galway senior management has called on LGFA chiefs in Croke Park to intervene in the matter.
“The decision by Connacht LGFA to dismiss Galway’s objection, we believe, calls not only the integrity of this year’s Connacht final into question but also that of an administration which has shown a blatant disregard for Galway ladies football with this appointment and, indeed, the spirit of the game of ladies football,” read the statement.
“We would consequently call on LGFA and Croke Park to investigate this matter thoroughly, determining as to how such an appointment could be made, and take swift and appropriate action.
“This is the fifth consecutive year Galway must travel to MacHale Park for the provincial decider and the appointment of Mr Carmody, who has mentored a number of the current Mayo senior players as Mayo minor boss between 2012-2013, is a gross error of judgment by Connacht LGFA.”
The statement continued: “We recognise Mr Carmody, who changed his inter-county designation from Mayo to Roscommon, is not to blame for this current predicament but, by the same token, it would be remiss of Galway senior ladies management not to object to the appointment of someone who has represented Mayo as both a ladies’ football inter-county manager and as one of their designated referees over a number of years.
“We had endeavoured to deal with this in a quieter manner by bringing our appeal to Connacht Council this week but the failure of this administration to satisfactorily address our concerns has forced us to take this issue into the public arena.
“We are disappointed that we have to do so and that we have to deal with this disruption in the week leading into the Connacht final. However, we would hope that by bringing this matter to light in the public domain that this decision would be reversed.”
Meanwhile, Mayo player Niamh Kelly has warned the county’s younger players they can’t just sit back and let Cora Staunton — back in Mayo colours for a 24th successive championship campaign — take on all the responsibility.
“When Cora wasn’t here for the league it was a great opportunity for the younger players to step up and become leaders on the team, because we always relied on her so much,” said Kelly.
“It was great for the younger players to be able to step up. Now that she’s back, it’s fantastic news. We all really admire Cora. She is a fantastic player and one of the best in the game. To have her back is a massive asset to the team. She is a great leader, but we have to make sure we don’t go back to type. Everyone needs to carry on the form they showed in the league, to show leadership and not to take a back seat just because she’s on the field.”
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