*Referee James Owens with captains John Conlon and Seamus Callanan before Sunday’s game. Photograph: Joe Buckley
A former Clare TD has said protests will need to be held over the controversial decision by James Owens during Sunday’s Munster senior hurling semi-final.
James Breen served as an Independent TD for Clare from 2002 to 2007, on Sunday he was among the 3000 supporters at the LIT Gaelic Grounds where Tipperary sealed their place in the provincial decider at the expense of Clare.
Much of the commentary in the aftermath of the contest has focused on the second half decision of referee James Owens to sin bin Aidan McCarthy and award a penalty to Tipperary for a challenge on Jake Morris.
Speaking to The Clare Echo, Breen said the County Board and clubs must “stand up and demand an investigation into the appointment of referees”. A lifelong member of the GAA, he believed, “there are too many hangers-on in the GAA”.
“We need to go out and protest at the offices of Munster GAA. Offaly protested in 1998 and they done us out of an All-Ireland because of it”.
Clare’s Central Council and Munster Council representatives are not making enough noise, the Kilnamona man claimed, “We need someone like Niall Romer to rattle a few cages. There’s people there who’s sell by date has gone, they have nothing to contribute and their sell by date is gone”.
Romer contested the position of Vice Chairman at the Clare GAA Convention last year and received 16 votes with Kieran Keating elected to the role with the backing of 92 delegates. “There’s always another time, he is a very outspoken man, it is people like him that we want and not to be hiding behind four course meals”,
In 1992, Breen was Clare’s delegate to the Munster Council while held the position of Kilnamona County Board Delegate for 24 years up until 1995.
“Our County Board will have to stand up and defend our players, will our representatives stand up and hold up the meeting to demand answers but they won’t do it because they haven’t the courage or the guts to do it”.
He explained that action needs to be taken at the next meeting of both Munster Council and Central Council. “Hold up the shagging meeting and get answers to see who appointed the referee and get answers”.