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26th Sep 2016

The infuriating reason why Hawk-Eye wasn’t used for Sunday’s ladies football final

Mikey Stafford

This is not going to make Gregory McGonigle any happier.

The Dublin manager was rightly furious that his side wound up on the wrong end of a one-point scoreline in Sunday’s ladies football final, Cork undoubtedly benefitting from Carla Rowe’s 22nd minute ‘point’ being waved wide by the umpire.

There were objections from members of the Dublin team and, if this had occurred during a men’s GAA match at Croke Park, the referee could have referred the matter to Hawk-Eye.

Unfortunately for Dublin, Hawk-Eye was not in operation at headquarters on Sunday. The reason behind it will have Dublin fans tearing their hair out.

“It went in front of Central Council, whether or not to use Hawk-Eye, earlier on this year,” said a Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) spokesperson after the game.

“The decision was taken that in order to have a level playing field for all teams playing on all fields throughout the country, throughout the championship, that we wouldn’t use Hawk-Eye.”

In other words, we have this incredible tool in the biggest stadium in Ireland, where we will play the final, which will be attended by a record 34,445, but because we can’t use it for every game, we’re going to turn it off.

That is a crazy logic which, if implemented in men’s GAA, would have meant Hawk-Eye was never installed. The 2014 All-Ireland hurling final would have been won by Tipperary and Dublin would still have lost Sunday’s final.

If you have a something at your disposal that can help you avoid shitstorms like the one you find yourself at the centre of Monday morning, would you not use it? Will they use it next year?

The expense involved to reconfigure the system from a Size 5 football to the Size 4 the ladies play with may also have been an issue. You would have to wonder if it was worth it.

Ask the Dublin players what they think.

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