Referee's All-Ireland final recording annoyed Kieran Donaghy

Kieran Donaghy says referee David Coldrick should not have worn a microphone in a game as important as last year’s All-Ireland final.

The Meath official wore a microphone as part of RTÉ’s All-Ireland Day, which was screened in November, two months after the Dublin-Kerry decider.

In the broadcast, Donaghy is heard complaining to Coldrick that Philly McMahon gouged him on the ground. However, on Radio Kerry’s Terrace Talk in October, the 2015 Kerry captain had denied making such a complaint.

The 2006 Footballer of the Year has not seen the documentary but disagreed with the initiative. “I heard all about it but I didn’t watch the show. I don’t think a ref should be reffing a big game, knowing that he is mic’d up. That would be my take. Just for the mental side, they have enough to be worrying about on the field without worrying about if I say this or I say that. Maybe for a game earlier on in the year, for a provincial game, I wouldn’t have any issue with it.”

McMahon will miss this Saturday’s Division 1 opener against Kerry in Croke Park as he serves a one-match ban for the incident.

Speaking at yesterday’s Allianz League launch, Donaghy was not interested in discussing how the documentary had contradicted his claim that he had not remonstrated about an alleged eye-gouge. “As my mother says, it is a lovely day outside, the sun is shining,” he responded flippantly. “I am late for work, Anything else?”

Donaghy, 33 in March, spoke to Eamonn Fitzmaurice in November and his wife Hilary before deciding to commit to Kerry for a 13th season. He has also began a new job working with PST Sports, a synthetic grass surfaces company. He readily admitted he would have stepped away had he lifted the Sam Maguire Cup last September.

“Can it get any better? If I came back, you’re never going to have as good as winning it as captain. I just felt that it probably would have been a nice time to go if that result had went that way. But it’s almost the way it didn’t go made this decision easier and make this decision a lot easier for me to go again.

“If you were coming back after winning it two years in a row and being captain the second year... two in a row is quite hard to do and three in a row is nearly impossible. It hasn’t been done since ‘86. You’d kind of be looking, you’d have to endure another losing final, which are hard to endure.”

Donaghy regrets not taking Declan O’Sullivan’s advice and giving himself more time off last year between club and county commitments. After Austin Stacks lost their All-Ireland semi-final to Slaughtneil, Donaghy returned to Kerry colours to face Dublin in Killarney 15 days later.

He felt it incumbent to do so as captain. “It was my first time being captain and I didn’t want to sit around and I knew competition for places was big and I knew there was a chance for me to start that game. I kind of flew back into it and when you go on that run with the club it was a bit long. The fear of being in a strong squad is that if you take a week or two off that could jeopardise your chance to play in the championship.”


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