DUBLIN manager Pat Gilroy has condemned the Louth supporters who attacked referee Martin Sludden and other officials in the wake of last Sunday’s Leinster SFC final.
“I think it is terrible when any official gets attacked. You can understand people getting frustrated but there is a line and the officials should definitely be left alone. There is no question,” Gilroy said.
The St Vincent’s clubman also praised Louth GAA officials for their “manly” course of action, by deciding not to go down the legal route in the wake of Meath’s decision not to offer the Wee County a replay, following the controversial end to the game.
“I felt very sorry for Louth in the circumstances but I think the way Louth have handled it since by getting on with it, that is the reality of it that’s what you need to do.
“Referees are human beings and they are going to make mistakes. If we all keep trying to get matches replayed we could forever be replaying matches.
“I think you have to move on with it. I think Louth have probably given themselves a better chance even in the qualifiers by just moving on from it and not letting it linger for a long time.”
And Gilroy concedes that a replay was never a runner, despite calls for a re-fixture from Louth GAA officials, management, players, neutral fans and pundits alike.
“I don’t think it was ever going to happen,” he said.
“I think it was one of those things where the events happen on the pitch and you just have to move on.
“Mistakes are made by referees all the time and you just have to move on.
“You could go back over every match and see 20 mistakes that guys make and where do you draw the line?
“Clearly it was a mistake but that is life and it is unfortunate. Unless you legislate for it and have video referees it needs to be killed on the day. Once the day is finished and the game is closed it is time to move on.”
With calls to halt pitch invasions now growing in intensity, Gilroy believes that the GAA will now take a tougher stance on supporters in light of Sunday’s events.
“I think when something like that happens that it is unlikely it will happen again. People realise afterwards in the calm light of day that it is not acceptable in any place.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see Croke Park making stronger attempts to stop people getting onto the pitch now whether it is a human cordon or a physical barrier. I think that will be a reality.”
Gilroy, was understandably cautious not to give his view on the specific action of umpires, but instead believes all match officials should come from the pool of inter-county referees.
“I think what really should happen is that we have in top inter-county games referees doing all those roles.
“I don’t know how they are picked or how they are selected but it seems to me the referee would have a better chance if he had two guys on the sideline and four on the posts that are fully au fait with the rules.
“Whether that happens or not I don’t know but I think that is the way it should be for top inter-county matches.”
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