THE Down County Board have released an official statement addressing the controversy surrounding Kilcoo’s objection to the appointment of Paul Falloon as referee for yesterday’s Down Senior Championship final.
The Magpies won that game with a very impressive victory over rivals Burren, but the match itself was arguably overshadowed by the events over the weekend, where it emerged that Kilcoo had lodged an objection to the Disputes Resolution Authority (DRA) over the appointment of Paul Falloon as the game’s referee.
The DRA threw the case out but Falloon determined nevertheless that he could no longer referee the game, setting in motion a chain of events which saw Brian Higgins eventually installed as his replacement.
Down GAA have now released a statement taking aim to the Magpies for challenging the appointment of Paul Falloon, “an intercounty championship match official of considerable standing.”
The statement said: “The DRA claim was heard on Saturday morning and the case put forward by Kilcoo was rejected. This was an entirely satisfactory ruling as it allowed the referee appointment to stand, and we communicated it to Paul.
“We were steadfast in our support of the appointment of Paul Falloon. Not even the notion of postponement would deter us from the clear opinion that everyone should respect his appointment.”
It continued: “Whilst the final took place and we are very grateful to all of yesterday’s match officials, this was an extremely frustrating episode.
“As an association we are constantly hearing and stating about the need to respect our match officials. The appointment of Paul Falloon should have been respeced and it is disappointment that this was challenged in the way it was. There should be no right of appeal against the appointment of a referee.
“We will examine this episode and consider what needs to be put in place to ensure that this never happens again.”