Insult could be added to Kildare’s injury in the form of a hefty fine for supporters’ behaviour towards Joe McQuillan following Saturday’s Championship exit.
Irish Examiner footage shows the Cavan referee being either jostled or accosted on three occasions by supporters as he made his way into his dressing room under Garda escort.
Kildare chairman John McMahon said he didn’t see the incidents so couldn’t make a comment.
However, video clearly shows three men bumping into McQuillan and another angrily accosting him as he was subjected to verbal abuse and booed by others. McQuillan had also drawn the ire of the home backing at half-time. One patron with a child in his arms shouted expletives in his direction as he entered the tunnel.
Tyrone, are themselves no strangers to controversy in the stands as Karl Lacey was spat upon by a supporter in the counties’ Division 1 game in Omagh earlier this year. Their manager Mickey Harte regretted the latest incident in Newbridge.
“Referees can’t please everybody all of the time and I am sure there were decisions out there we didn’t like. There were decisions Kildare didn’t like. But if on average if a referee gets most calls right that’s all you can expect. There is nobody perfect, in refereeing or any other walk of life.
“It’s not something you would want to see, it’s not something that should happen and I’m sure most of the people in Kildare and in every county wouldn’t want it to happen.
“But some people just lose the run of themselves in situations like this.”
Kieran McGeeney hinted at his frustration at Joe McQuillan’s officiating. “A lot of things happened that probably won’t come out — they’ll be brushed under the carpet, as they are in the GAA. These things happen on the football pitch and they’re best left there, I suppose.”
McQuillan is all but certain to include the incidents in his referee’s report, to be received by Croke Park either today or tomorrow.
According to rule 7.2 (d) (3), penalties for “disruptive conduct by players, team officials or supporters (not causing the premature termination of a game)” shall be “at the discretion of council or committee-in-charge”.
However, it remains to be seen whether the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) will take any action given how reluctant they have been to follow up retrospective cases in recent months.
But with Pat Horgan’s Munster SHC final dismissal being rescinded, the GAA is under the spotlight at the moment for treatment of its referees.
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