GAA chief interested in using decision making technology

Updated: July 25, 2012

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GAA president Liam O’Neill has said he has no issue with GAA officials using big screen replays at Croke Park to decide if a goal/point should/should not be awarded.

This is despite O’Neill stating that the big screen replays were not used to detect that Eoghan O’Gara had in fact scored a point for Dublin against Meath on Sunday when a wide had initially been signaled by the umpires and referee Martin Duffy.

Croke Park insist that stadium replays of the score had no influence on the decision to reverse the call. They say that linesman Maurice Deegan saw the score in ‘real time’ and wasn’t influenced by the big-screen replay.

O’Neill stressed that the biggest issue was that the right decision was made and stated that he is open to the use of similar replays going forward.

“Doing the right thing would never make me feel uncomfortable,” said the former national school principal. “You have to be brave enough to do the right thing and that is what we are here for. Everyone wants to see if someone gets a score that they are entitled to it. And if it’s wide everyone wants to see it given wide.

“Maurice clearly had a better angle, he informed the referee and that informed the referee’s decision. That was common sense in action, the right thing was done by the right people at the right time, and in time. We’re happy with it.”

The Hawk-Eye technology is not an option this summer because issues have been raised regarding its suitability for GAA but using big screen replays is a realistic option.

“Technology has to catch up with our games. We all know that Hawk-Eye works, but only in a confined space. The difficulty now is that it has to work in the size of our stadia to convey that information as quickly as it does for cricket or tennis.

“Also, posts do move and that is a difficulty. A cricket stump does not move or the line in tennis does not move, but goalposts apparently do.

“Whatever technology that will be brought in must convey the decision instantly. We are not afraid of technology, I would try any technology that would speed up decision-making and help us do the right thing. The question is, can it be done quickly enough to convey that without holding up the game?”

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