It won’t really come as a shock to anyone as it’s an appointment that was widely expected in advance but it was confirmed earlier on this evening that Cavan’s Joe McQuillan will be the man with the whistle in this year’s All-Ireland final. It’ll be his third decider, having also reffed the 2011 and 2013 ones.
We’ve seen a fair bit of him this year, as he took charge of both our Connacht semi-final against Galway and the drawn All-Ireland quarter-final against Roscommon. We should, then, be well versed about what rocks his boat and what doesn’t.
I’m aware that plenty of supporters – from both counties – are rushing to judgment on this appointment. To my mind, however, this makes little sense. From our perspective, we’ve had good days as well as bad ones with Joe McQuillan in charge and so there’s no reason to conclude that our task on Sunday week has been made any more difficult due to this appointment.
Reffing is a tough job at the best of times and Gaelic football matches are often impossible to ref properly. The task is even harder in a final, where the two teams are going at it at full tilt and the hits are flying in every direction. All we can hope is that Joe McQuillan gets the big calls right on the day and that he gives us a fair shake overall. The rest is up to us.
So, then, I’d prefer to congratulate the Cavan official on his appointment and wish him all the best for the final. He’s been handed a big responsibility so here’s hoping – as I’m sure he will be too – that he’s able to discharge it in an even-handed and competent manner.