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Referee to Make Amends in Dubai

Referee to Make Amends in Dubai

THE referee who had the courage to admit in public that he sent off Leitrim footballer Michael Duignan in error in the FBD League game against Galway has quickly put the controversy behind him. Pleased that he did what he believed was the correct thing in the circumstances, Declan Corcoran has traveled to Dubai with the 2006 and 2007 TG4/O’Neills Ladies Football Allstars and will take charge of their exhibition game in the Dubai Polo Grounds next Saturday.


“It’s a great honour to be chosen. The fact that I refereed the All-Ireland Ladies final in 2006 was partly to do with being nominated,’’ he commented.


A member of a small junior club, Islandeady, he made the headlines for all the wrong reasons a fortnight ago – all because of what he pointed out was a simple mistake in ticking the wrong box!


What happened was that in the second half he booked a Leitrim player who wore the number 8 jersey and put his name in the wrong position in his notebook. A few minutes later there was a foul drawn to his attention by a linesman and it was committed by a Leitrim player (Duignan) who wore the number 9 jersey.


“According to my book I had number 9 already booked, so it was a second yellow followed by a red – based on what I had written down, ‘’ he explained. “But then when I went home and I was ready to write the report, I found I had made the mistake. Then I wrote on my referee’s report that I had made a genuine mistake and I apologised to the player for that as well.


“The player never questioned my decision. If he told me he hadn’t been booked I would have obviously asked him what his name was and I would have checked it there and then. It would have been sorted and that would have been it. There would have been no more about it. Michael has been cleared and the result of the game stands.  Galway did not agree to a replay because the game was finished. It was a human mistake. At the end of the day referees will make mistakes as well as players and managers.’’


Corcoran added that he never hesitated about coming clean, explaining: “the fact that it was me who made the mistake I felt it was better to come out and acknowledge it rather than cover it up. I believe that honesty is the best policy in situations like that!’’


While active in both the ladies and men’s games, he handled more Gaelic football games over the season. And, for that reason, it’s never a difficulty switching from one code to the other……‘once you know the rules in both.’


“That way there can be no confusion. It would be different if you were concentrating on the men’s game and refereeing only a few ladies games.’’





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