The GAA has just confirmed that Maurice Deegan from Laois will referee this year’s All-Ireland senior football final between our lads and Donegal. Derry’s Barry Cassidy has also been named as the ref for the minor final between Dublin and Meath.
This will be the Laois whistler’s second decider, as he also took charge of the 2008 final between Tyrone and Kerry. We, of course, have plenty of recent Croke Park experience with him as he reffed both this year’s league final against Cork (which he made an utter balls of) back in April and also last month’s All-Ireland quarter-final against Down (where he was, on the whole, okay).
I know I’ve been fairly exercised about who has been appointed to ref our most recent matches but on this occasion I’m not saying nuthin’. We all know from April the issues with Deegan but I think it’s good that we’ve had him for matches twice at HQ this year so there’s no excuse now for not being able to anticipate how he’s likely to handle Game 5 and to plan accordingly. In doing so, it’d also make sense to root out a tape of the 2008 All-Ireland final, in particular, to see where the Laois man stood then on robust defending and to compare and contrast this with our more recent experiences with him.