Joe McQuillan to ref our semi with Dublin

Sorry to spoil your sandwiches and crisps, hombres, but it’s just been confirmed that Joe McQuillan – Dublin’s in-house ref for most of last year’s championship – will take charge of our semi-final against the All-Ireland champions on 2nd September.

This will be the first time the Cavan official has been put in charge of one of our championship matches since the pig’s breakfast he made out of our quarter-final with Meath back in 2009. That wasn’t the first time he gave us reason for collective teeth-grinding in the championship either, as he was also the man in the middle for our first round Connacht championship tie against Galway back in 2007. Our most recent encounter with him was this year’s league match against Cork in Castlebar. Yeah – we lost that one too.

We can only hope, I guess, that McQuillan has improved as the years have gone by and that he’ll give us a fair shake when it comes to facing the Dubs. I know there was plenty of trepidation ahead of the Down quarter-final (which I shared) about Maurice Deegan but these fears proved to be unfounded on the day. Despite the scar tissue we’ve got to show from previous encounters with McQuillan, we’ve just got to hope that it’ll be the same on this occasion. I wouldn’t be holding my breath, though, for him to pull Cluxton (à la Michael Collins with Cillian O’Connor) for taking too long over the frees …

It’s also been confirmed that Tyrone’s Cathal O’Hagan will ref our minor semi-final against Meath on Sunday week. I’ve never heard of him before, to be honest.

Meath’s David Coldrick will, by the way, take charge of the Cork/Donegal semi-final. He could have his hands full in that one.

40 thoughts on “Joe McQuillan to ref our semi with Dublin

  1. Ah Jaysus. They really want a Dublin/Cork Final, don’t they? I hope JH makes an appropriate comment if asked as Jack O’Connor did before the semi last year. We have been messed around for long enough. All we want is a bit of fairness.

  2. Someone better get on to the Cavan chairman Tom Reilly to have a quiet word in his ear before the game. A horses head in his bed should do the trick.

  3. This is where the progress of Horan runs into a propellor . This referee destroyed us in 2009 with an incompetent display resulting in a 2 goal turn around against us. His reward was running the final.

    Now I wonder what exactly did the Mayo county board do regarding him? Did they send a strongly worded letter of protest to headquarters, did they say that they never wanted him to ref us again or did they do FA?

    Now we have this guy back and Dublin had him for the championship last year so they will be comfortable with him. Reminds me of bucks I went to school with, eager chappies with the hand always up whether they knew the answer or not. No wonder the effing weather broke .

  4. Was it not Joe McQuillan who refereed our U.21 final with Cork in 2006? I think we won that one. Cork had a man sent off, which did not help their cause either.

  5. with that excuse for a ref in charge the dubs are at least two points up before the match starts,we couldnt have got a worse ref if we tried hes dublins 16th man , how that man is allowed to ref a game after 2009 against meath is a mystery

  6. Can we please stop moaning about refs. Every county will fell hard done by at some stage or another. The ref is not the problem.

  7. It is true that in most matches, the referee himself is not the problem, the problem is the poor quality of refereeing from all match officials, and a rule book which isn’t clear enough, as well as there being no real disincentive for the many versions of foul play we have to witness. The origin of, and solution to, these problems lie with the Association itself. A lot of talk around the edges, but no true mettle to sort these issues out.

  8. As for refing gaelic football, its virtually impossible for any ref to get 100 o/o right. Eg in any tussle for the ball among 3 or more players, there are likely to 2,or 3 or even more half fowls. The ref can only give what he sees, he may well know or suspect that fouls are commited but under the rule book cant give them unless he clearly see’s the foul..It seems that those teams that use massed defences, sometimes benifet from this, an attempt by a forward to gain posession from a long kicked ball into the fullfoward line, the forward will have his run checked,several half pulls on his jersey, end up handling the ball on the ground or too many step’s or surrounded by 4 or 5 defensive players, by the time the ref is near enough to get a clear view it ends up being a free out to the team defending on masse. The attempt to play attacking football goes unrewarded & the negative style is encouraged. The same often goes for those players that make the high catch’s from the goal keepers kick out, the player attempting the high catch, one of the most spectacular aspects of gaelic football often gains no reward from his heroic exploits, because he has been surrounded by several players that have made no attempt to jump, preferring to stay on the ground often fouling & half fouling the player in posession, but gaining an advantage for themselves by being negative. Personally I would’nt be too hard on ref’s in general. Many’s the time I was in McHale Park, Croke Park & several other parks, screaming at refs for not given what I seen as blatent foul’s on Mayo players, but the match would always be recorded if it was live on tv & when I watched again I would say about 80 o/o of the time the ref would be right meaning that me watching on the sideline would be wrong. There are some exeption’s to this of course, the reffing of the league final being one. I would like to see some rule changes that would make it easier for ref’s. Allow players to handle the ball on the ground, it works well in ladies football & you can alyways pick it up with your toe if it suits. This would elemanate some frees from the game & their are definatly too many frees. Also I would like to see the mark being introduced for high feilding. It rewards good positive play & promotes one of the great skills of gaelic football. I think the mark should only be allowed fron the goalie’s kick out that goes beyond the 45. Otherwise you could be encouraging a short 15 meter kick out or a 10 meter foot pass and thats hardly a great skill. I’d like to see any rule changes that promote positive play but apart from those two changes I dont know what else should be done.

  9. Some amount of shite being spoken about a ref here. As if he has some particular dislike for Mayo. The reason Mayo lost to Cork in the league had nothing to do with the ref, Mayo lost that all on their own. And as has been pointed out, he was quite nice to us when we won one of our few AI titles in recent times. It’s that type of ‘blame everybody else attitude’ that gives supporters a bad name.

  10. I would have to agree with the last few posts on here especially Lobitns post.Joe Mcquillan is a decent ref and any one who thinks he is biased against Mayo is way off the mark.The amount of bitching and moaning on here about refs is cringeworthy.The C.OConnor free v ros last year is constantly brought up but the fact is that decision was probably right.He held the ball in his hand waiting to take the free for about 55 seconds which is different to Stephen Cluxtons free taking where he takes about 5 seconds to take the free after placing the ball.Every body should read last weeks Darragh O Sea article in the irish times where he goes to a game with Pat Mceneny and gives a perspective from a refs point of view.A neutral fan reading this website would come away with the impression that Mayo supporters are the biggest crowd of whiners and are never happy unless every decision goes for them.

  11. I’d like to double down on Seanod87’s comments. This is a complete misnomer. To suggest that any ref is in the tank for any team in an AI semi is a bit rich. Sure, he might make a bad call in the white heat of a game at the end, but to suggest this gives Dublin an edge is completely preposterous. This is the kind of ill-begotten shite talk that pisses people off. I don’t perceive we’ve had any historical deficit when it comes to bad refereeing decisions. James has enough to be worrying about other this absolute nonsensical rubbish.

  12. Seanog, Chris – I’ve no problem with contrary views being expressed but everyone’s opinion is valid, however much you disagree with it and just because you do doesn’t mean it’s just “shite talk”. For the record, I don’t think every ref has it in for us but I do think (possibly like other supporters think too) that we’ve had more bad days than good on that front. I’d agree with Lobitin and Digits that the rule book has got a lot to do with it and that’s it’s difficult for any ref to get the majority of decisions right. On McQuillan, Mayo supporters are right to be concerned because of (a) the way his poor decision-making swung the 2009 quarter-final with Meath against us (which it clearly did) and (b) the fact that he seems to be the default ref for Dublin’s game, which means his interpretation about their style of play compared to how he refs us could cause obvious problems for us. Will it cause problems? I don’t know if it will and I hope it doesn’t but it could. All we can hope for – which is what I said in the piece – is that we get a fair shake off him.

    I read that article in the Irish Times, by the way, and I have to say it didn’t rock my boat at all, what with Darragh O Se giving the impression that he never used to foul anyone while on the pitch and with Pat McEnaney (whose name will live in infamy due to the way his performance denied us in 1996) clearly revelling in having his ego stroked. For me, instead of proving in any way enlightening, that article cast further light on all that’s wrong about reffing of Gaelic football.

  13. So were going to loose to the Dub’s and it will be Mc Quillin’s fault ??
    Posters who peddle this notion should really have a read of Spailpins post about the peasants knowing the crops will fail in his piece about Andy— link ;http://spailpin.blogspot.ie/2012/08/andy-moran-still-has-part-to-play.html
    Our Mayo psyche is indeed dark and pessimistic and inclined we are to look for someone to blame when things go wrong……… but to start looking beforehand ? 2009 is often mentioned I was there watching in horror as we gave up the ghost during this game we should have won easily. But that was another ere I hope.

  14. I dont think that McQuillan was the diference betweeen us and Meath in 2009. Yes he made seveal bad decisions however if I remember it was the linesman giving the decision incorrectly that led to the crucial goal. However It also remains that Meath were able to push on in that match and scored 5 or 6 on the trot. They started winning at midfield and other areas whereas we sank back into ourselves.

    The point is big teams are able to deal with and overcome even bad decisions and if we’re a big team we should be too.

    W.r.t referees themselves several things spring immediatley to mind.

    1: Referees are human. They wil make mistakes – its guaranteed. No one man can see everything that goes on when there are 30 super fit lads hard at it.

    2: If a ref gives a bad call – you have to get on with it. Someone can complain however invariable it only leads to another 15 metres penalised. Now I do advocate someone being able to speak and possibly challenge the ref but no point just shouting at the ref.

    There are several obvious rule changes that could be made e.g.

    (a) with free kicks, sidelines etc – once the decision is made no more than 30 secs should be allowed in all cases except injury otherwise a hop ball.

    (b) The extra time should be taken out of the refs hands – the game should be lke the Ladies GAA and Rugby – i,e, the hooter should sound at the end of each half (including extra time) and that should be it.

    (c) On the tackle all i can say is that there are two ways to ref and both are equally important. First are the rules of the game and second is the spirit of the game.

    A lot of times the rules would dictate a free kick however the spirit of the game where the tackling is a lot harder and fellas are more likely to be falling over or going to ground must be taken into consideration.

    I’ll give you a tougher example to call. Probably be divided 50/50 on it.

    According to the rules if a fella strikes out at all he should be sent off. However in a big, very tough and tight game a little melee develops . A player is surrounded by opposing players where he is being pushed around & bullied.
    Invariably the guy stands up for himself and raise his arms & pushes one of them back away. the other guy falls over like he was shot and everyone starts shouting at the ref.

    Is it fair to send your man off ? Under the rules you could adjuge he struck out. Ref has to consider the spirit of the game in my view.

  15. It’s not often I agree with Sean Rice of the Mayo News but he was right on one score : if you’re a serious team, and you want to win titles rather than whining about unfair decisions, you will prepare for matches by treating the referee as the opposition’s 16th man. He will give decisions against you. Tough. Some decisions he may give for you, but he may not, so you cannot rely on that. Make it your business to outscore the opposition by as much as possible and the referee becomes irrelevant.

    Between McQuillan’s appointment, and the ‘oh my God, what are we going to do’ wailing about Andy Moran that An Spailpín wrote of, it sounds like some fans are making their excuses already for giving up on this semi-final. Fortunately James Horan and his team are made of tougher stuff. If defeat is to be their fate, they won’t be caught whinging about it.

  16. its a fact and well known in dublin gaa circles that ncquillan has taken charge of several a v b games involving the dubs panel makes ya wondr at times

  17. It says it all really when the decision was announced who was to officiate the semi final between Mayo and Dublin, it was almost like a collective groan from every mayo person! I got a dozen or more texts sayin ” did you see who’s Reffin the match”! He hasn’t been kind to us in recent years, He does seem to favour teams were playin against ( in my view!) We can all blame refs after games, rightly or wrongly, that’s the right we get after payin our money at the gate or buyin our season ticket! Im Just not overly confident of him gettin the close decisions correct against the dubs! Them are the decisions that cost games!

  18. Hard to blame people worrying about refs given our history.seems to me wondering how we will manage without Moran is valid.any news on Moran btw?

  19. Its a bit embarassing to see a ref being blamed three weeks before a game. Most of the big games we lost in the past were our own fault, we didnt need refs to help the opposition. Or perhaps refs were responsible for poor tactical decisions, balls being let bounce ove bars, handy points being missed etc.

  20. Interesting discussion, I am definitely on the side of those who wish that we stop going on about how so many referees have it in for us!
    Let’s go and prepare for whatever is thrown at us, Micko was never averse to getting refs in advance of a big match during his time with Kerry, why should we not do the same thing rather than point the finger at teams that look for any advantage.
    Having seen the abuse that refs get at all levels, I admire their neck for doing it week in week out. If I was a referee, this attitude would not incline me to give a 50 – 50 decision to the teams fans, would you in the same position??

  21. All referees go out to do a good game.

    Is this the same Joe McQuillan that [deleted – WJ].

    This may not be fit for publication but it occurred.

  22. PJ – I think your last statement there was correct, I don’t think that what went before was fit for publication. I’m not saying that what you’ve said didn’t happen but there’s no way to verify it so I’d prefer to leave it unsaid.

  23. Just need to know a couple of things here, don’t bother answering unless you know for sure as i’m tired of getting different versions since yesterday evening.

    Does MQuaillan ref games betweeen Dublin AvB games?

    Do Mayo use an inter county ref from to ref their AvB games?

  24. @PeterMurray. That comment you made regards Joe McQuillan referring the Dublin A v B games. If it is factually correct then he really should not be involved in refereeing an inter county match where Dublin are taking part.

    So can you verify that comment ?

  25. JPM/Sean – I’m not sure if Joe McQuillan still refs Dublin A v B games (I doubt he does but, then again, nothing about GAA reffing would surprise me at this stage) but it appears to be common knowledge that he did so last year. As one of the lads on gaaboard.com mentioned the other day a letter writer to the Sunday Independent made reference to this earlier this summer – here.

  26. It seems last year McQuillan did ref Dublin AvB games but if there isn’t a rule against it then I don’t see the problem with having an intercounty ref in charge of AvB games. There might be some rule changes the players have to get used too or a ref might spot something a team will be continually pulled up on and tell the management. It’s common practise for the Irish Rugby team to have Alan Rolland and the English to have Wanye Barnes in before the six nations to advise them how the rule for the ruck and scrum etc.. are going to be applied in the forthcomming championship!
    I would counter this though by saying that Ireland are never going to have Alan Rolland reffing them and there are certain guidelines set out by the IRB over these meeting so they aren’t informal invitations by team mangement so it was bad form by the GAA to appoint McQuillian to ref Dublin in the All Ireland if they had knowledge that he had taken AvB games in the run up to the semi and final. I’m not syaing McQuillan or Pat Gilroy were doing anything un-toward it’s just that there’s a definite conflict of interest. Some simple guidelines would prevent there being anything wrong with having intercounty refs taking AvB games in the run up to an All Ireland like the ref would have to be from your own county/province to prevent any confict of interest?

  27. Willie Joe,

    Point taken. Maybe we will have _a__________ party in Mc Hhale Park in late September ?

  28. reffing AvB games leaves the whole thing open for the ref to be getting pally with the lads on the panel etc. etc,
    why cant a dub ref ref those games ?

  29. its one thing reffin a v b games its another when at the same time reffin the same team in the championship like he did last year 4 times he refd the dubs in c/ship last year and 4 times av b games ,dont have to a genuis to work out i for one was a it put out when i heard hed got the mayo game this aint rugby or anyother sport where the officials come under close scrutiny , all counties are equal but some are more equal than other others but when it comes to the dubs anything goes

  30. If as reported Alan Brogan will not be fit I think it changes the whole dynamic.Brogan is to Dublin what Andy is to Mayo in my view.

  31. I’d agree with that – Dublin aren’t the same without Alan Brogan and Bernard in particular seems to suffer when he’s not around. If he’s out, it’s a major plus for us and will go a long way towards balancing Andy’s loss to us.

  32. Where are you hearing Alan Brogan will one be out? Last I heard, he was well on track to be fit.

  33. evening hearld has that story brogan is a doubt could be a bit of gamesmanship going on tho

  34. Just saw the report on hoganstand. It would be a huge blow to the dubs and might even things up a bit, but I’m sure James Horan is still planning with the expectation that Alan Brogan will be starting.
    It’s great having a big match like this to look forward to. I hope the players are relishing it as much as the rest of us!

  35. The quotes are ambiguous enough, I’d say Brogan will be fit. This sounds like the old trick those cute Kerry hoors play before big games, trying to throw the opposition off track.
    But yeah, he’s the one player the Dubs wouldn’t want to be missing. But sure wouldn’t it be more fun to beat a full strength Dublin team?!

  36. Does Mr. McQuillan get paid when he referees A v B games for Dublin? If so, it would be entirely inappropiate for him to ref a match with any other team v Dublin in an important championship match.

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