DJ Carey's way of coming to terms with a referee's mistake is a lesson to us all 4 years ago

DJ Carey's way of coming to terms with a referee's mistake is a lesson to us all

Listen, there's always going to be an element of frustration when a referee makes a mistake.


Going into a game, you've enough worries about your own team and about the game itself, never mind the referee giving a few borderline calls against you or an umpire calling a shot as a goal when it wasn't over the line at all, as happened with Tipperary's phantom goal that saw them get out of jail to draw with Waterford last Sunday.

So, instead of worrying about something like that happening, we take it for granted that the standard of officiating is going to be faultless. Then you add in the fact that with high stakes come hot heads so, in reality, referees are never really going to receive a free pass.

And even if they do, it won't be spoken of because we all know that umpires and referees are only visible when they make a mistake. Even though we love to convince ourselves on our excuse retrieval mission that a refereeing decision cost us, the reality is that no referee goes into a game with the intention of making a few biased decisions, and though we're well aware of this deep, deep down, it's just something we're not conditioned to accept.

The umpire's decision at The Gaelic Grounds to raise his green flag and deem Jason Forde's effort a goal was a huge blow for Waterford and it may prove season defining in a Munster championship where the margins are that tight.


The most impressive thing about all of this was the immediate reaction of Déise attacker Pauric Mahony who was interviewed directly after the final whistle of the match, and of manager Derek McGrath who even went to the bother of making up excuses for the umpire who had got it wrong.

And while the frustrations of what might have been undoubtedly crippled some Waterford supporters, what's done is done and all they can do now, as Derek McGrath encouraged them to do, is hope that karma comes around to help them another day.

Indeed, a belter of a story from Cheddar Plunkett about what legendary Kilkenny hurler DJ Carey said to a young coach at one of his famous school of hurling classes hammers home this point.


"At the end of each evening DJ would give a speech to the coaches. I think there was a controversy the day before in football, where the referee made a mistake."

"One of the coaches innocently asked DJ about the mistake, and he was sort of berating the mistake.

"In fairness to DJ, and I'll never forget this, he lit on the coach and he told him, 'I'm in hurling ten or twelve years, I make piles of mistake on the field, but I'm never held to account for it. I've never known a referee to deliberately make the mistake, even though they make it. We just have to live with it and move on.'"

"I thought it was a real common sense approach to it. You've to take things like these on the chin, these are human beings.

"We've got to go back to what DJ said, 'Surely we're not going to hold referees to account for them.'"

You can listen to Cheddar's impassioned words, Wooly's hidden hurling knowledge and much more from The GAA Hour Hurling Show right here.