As predicted by James Horan at the press night last week, Cavan whistler Joe McQuillan has today been confirmed as the ref for this year’s All-Ireland final. It’ll be his second senior decider, having also taken charge of the 2011 final between Dublin and Kerry. It’ll also be the third recent contest between the counties that he’ll have officiated on, having reffed both last year’s All-Ireland semi-final and this year’s NFL semi-final between us.
While we’ve had bad days down the years in matches involving this particular ref – notably our Connacht championship clash against Galway in 2007 and our All-Ireland quarter-final against Meath in 2009 – we’ve had better days too, in particular last year’s semi-final against the Dubs. And before anyone explodes about his gifting the 2011 All-Ireland to the Metropolitans – which, if he did (and I don’t think that particular charge holds water), was only against Kerry so what’s the big deal? – it’s worth recalling that the last time we won an All-Ireland final, when the U21s prevailed over Cork in 2006, the ref on duty that day was a certain J McQuillan (Cavan). So there.
Speaking of Langers, the ref for the minor final is Cork’s Conor Lane. Yes, that Conor Lane, the one that allowed all kinds of attempted decapitations and other jolly japes by the London lads in this year’s Connacht final. Just the kind of guy we need to keep those cynical Nordies under control in the minor final, eh?