Gaelic Football referee David Coldrick says sometimes referees have to hold their hands up in the second part of the Men in Black documentary series tonight on Setanta Ireland.
The statement came after failing to spot Cork defender Michael Shields picking the ball off the ground in last year’s All-Ireland quarter-final between Dublin and Cork. In a refereeing meeting the previous week it was decided that there was no justification in rule for stopping a game to consult their umpire.
“I wish we made a different decision that night,” says Coldrick. “We decided we can’t stop play. You either see it or you don’t. In that situation, there were a number of bodies between me and where the incident occurred and I just couldn’t see it. I couldn’t see it and that is what I said to a number of players when they asked me.
“Sometimes you have to hold your hands up. If you don’t see it, you can’t give it. As much as you might like replays, you don’t get the opportunity for replays, albeit the rest of the stadium sees a replay. As we said on that day, it’s one of those things you hope won’t happen but they can happen. It did happen and as I said you have to hold your hands up.”
The documentary sees Coldrick officiating in the Ulster final between Monaghan and Donegal and aforementioned All-Ireland quarter-final. It provides a very unique look at refereeing with the referee microphone providing some brilliant interactions between players and the referee.
Monaghan’s Conor McManus tells Coldrick that Donegal full-back Neil McGee is nipping at him, with McGee protesting his innocence. Rory Kavanagh is seen trying to escape punishment for off the ball incident and stating in the end it was just his first offense, to which Coldrick responds: “It doesn’t matter that it’s your first offense, it’s a bookable first offense. Frank McGlynn shouts “it’s a free out” to which Coldrick replies ‘it’s a free nowhere”.
But Coldrick comes across as human and although the players are disappointed with small mistakes, they seem to appreciate his honesty when he ‘holds his hands up’. Bernard Brogan tells an irate Paul Flynn that Coldrick simply didn’t see the ball being picked up off the ground, while Graham Canty insists that he couldn’t do much with a crowd of players in front of him. “You’re good,” says Canty as Dublin kick a score, “but you’re not that good.