It’s high time the GAA embraced technology to assist referees with difficult match decisions

How much longer must we wait before the GAA embraces technology fully to assist referees, officials and players?

e are all aware of the many very high-profile cases where referees and officials unintentionally made the incorrect decision, which had a huge impact on the outcome of the games.

The Leinster senior football final of a number of years ago between Meath and Louth is a typical example.

There must be something fundamentally wrong with a system whereby viewers at home can see a replay of the incident within seconds, yet this is not available to the most important person of them all – the referee.

The GAA has nothing to fear by emulating the practice used by rugby, where the referee calls for video assistance to help him or her make the correct decision. The proper use of technology assists rather than undermines the referee and officials.

As late as last Sunday, we saw the impact of a wrong decision by an official on the outcome of the Limerick-Cork senior football championship match.

No one doubts the very difficult job referees have, and the judicious use of technology could assist them greatly.

We all have seen numerous examples where players run down the clock by various methods.

I firmly believe the timing of games should be taken out of the hands of the referee and the clock should be stopped on certain occasions as in rugby, for example, when the official is talking to a player or when a player is lying prostrate on the ground injured or feigned injury.

Seán de Brún, Cill Airne, Co Chiarraí

A common sense solution to Dublin Airport mess

I recently passed through security at Dublin Airport in 30 minutes – not bad, all things considered. I noticed at each station the operative asking every passenger: “Any liquids, computers, belts, pockets empty, phones?”

Then it struck me – at the 20-odd stations, there was not one single instructive sign. It was a sign-free zone, so to speak.

So, DAA, here is a suggestion to help speed things up. At every security station, have a reasonably-sized sign that reads “Empty pockets, liquids out, belt and watch off, phone and computer out” in English, French and Spanish.

Jonathan Roth, Clancy’s Strand, Limerick

‘Liveline’ listeners deserve honest and open debate

In the 1960s, Archbishop John Charles McQuaid criticized Gay Byrne’s “unworthy” activities on RTÉ’s Late Late Show† Now Roderic O’Gorman ticks off Joe Duffy’s liveline for being “ill-informed”.(‘Trans rights should not be discussed quite so vigorously on airwaves’, Irish IndependentJune 15).

RTÉ is required by law to be impartial in public debates. It’s not supposed to dance to the tune of lobbyists, bishops or politicians. liveline listeners want to hear open, non-elitist debate, not what our betters believe we should hear.

Karl Martin, Bayside, Dublin 13

Doherty is no match for Varadkar in Dáil clash

If the spat between Leo Varadkar and Pearse Doherty was a soccer match, I think Leo would win the game 2-0. Mr Doherty has so far scored two own goals.

Colm Ó Fatharta, Ráth Garbh, Baile Átha Cliath

Catholic organizations under attack in the US

The old and wise adage that careless talk costs lives is proving all too accurate in view of ongoing attacks on Catholic organizations and individuals in the US.

Anti-Catholic prejudice is frequently described as the oldest prejudice of them all, but the events arising from the US Supreme Court’s recent opinion in regard to Roe v Wade have revealed that this prejudice has not gone away.

Columnists in the New York Times (Maureen Dowd), Chicago Tribune (Ron Grossman ) and Boston Globe (Joan Vennochi) have written critically about a perceived pernicious “Catholic influence” in the US Supreme Court.

They would never dream of writing in such terms about any other religion, but it seems the usual civilities do not apply to Catholicism.

The outcome has been a significant number of arson attacks on Catholic churches and the premises of pro-life organisations.

In addition, ugly protests have been held outside the homes of Catholic members of the court; but the stakes were raised even higher this week when an individual was arrested
close to the home of Justice Brett Kavanaugh on suspicion of attempted murder.

For many in the “liberal/feminist” establishment, abortion is something they are not prepared to compromise on. But surely they should realize that the use of intemperate and emotive language is very dangerous, and a degree of respect for sincerely held alternative views is the mark of a civilized society.

Eric Conway, Navan, Co Meath

President’s pick and mix politics is pure populism

The idea that President Michael D Higgins can delve in and out of politics as he pleases is akin to believing communism or fascism can be a little bit democratic.

Populist headline-grabbing is not an acceptable pursuit for the holder of our country’s highest office to engage in. This is not a gray area, it is constitutional law.

The sight of the opposition jumping on board is quite sickening; it is well aware of the separation of powers and the reasons for it.

Every president has had to deal with crises, many of them far more extreme than the current housing shortage.

The office of the President must be beyond reproach. Becoming a little bit political is like becoming a little bit pregnant – you are or you are not. The President needs to remember he is not.

Bobby O’Neill, Killeens, Co Wexford

Here’s hoping for a silver lining to all those clouds

Frank Coughlan, in his amusing short piece (‘The weather may change, but my mistrust of it never will’, Irish IndependentJune 14), tells us: “Writing about the weather is rarely a good idea.”

Ah well, here goes. We are heading to lovely Westport for a few days, so please, please, dear God, maybe consider moving those “hooligan clouds”, as Frank calls them, away from this side of the country for a few weeks. You never know, it just might work.

Brian Mc Devitt, Glenties, Co Donegal

American apprentices make for poor leaders

As far as one can see, the main –perhaps only – criteria in selecting a vice-president in the US is that he or she must not be a threat to the boss.

How else could they come up with Nixon, Ford, Quayle, Biden, Pence and the invisible Kamala Harris, to name just a few incompetents. The danger to the country is when these apprentices get the big gig – they have been found out, but their amateurishness has to be concealed by their parties.

Is it any wonder they are in such a muddle? Now there’s a possibility the Great Twit could run again. Even the US of A deserves better.

David Ryan, Co Meatha

Some silver-screen gems that truly never grow old

On annual leave recently from his popular daily show on RTÉ Radio 1, presenter Ronan Collins confided that he occupied his time by watching “lots” of gangster movies.

A man after my own heart. I presume his choices were in black and white and of 1940s vintage. Some of the best were notable for their plots and iconic screen actors, but especially the hard-bitten, laconic dialogue.

My own recent viewing of The Blue Dahlia (1946) served up this gem from its Raymond Chandler script: (Man walking into cheap motel) “Clean sheets every day, they tell me.”

Alan Ladd’s character replies: “How often do they change the fleas?”

Oliver McGrane, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16

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