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Livid Damien Duff Rips Into Refereeing Standards After Controversial Red Card

Livid Damien Duff Rips Into Refereeing Standards After Controversial Red Card
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington
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It was another frustrating night for Shelbourne on Friday night, as they fell to a narrow defeat to high-flying Derry City.

Tolka Park was soaked in a downpour for the game, which saw Shels give a good showing against Derry but ultimately come up short thanks to an early set piece from Ryan Graydon.

Shelbourne were also the subject of a highly contentious refereeing decision in the second half, with Paddy Barrett sent off for a second yellow card just five minutes after the break.

The sending off seemed extremely harsh, with the second booking coming for what looked like innocuous contact with Jamie McGonigle while the two fought for the ball. Shels manager Damien Duff was livid in his post-match interview, saying he was fed up of decisions such as Barrett's red card and that he "doesn't accept" the standard of refereeing in the League of Ireland.

Damien Duff: Shels manager furious with Paddy Barrett red card

Shelbourne have experienced a mixed start to the season, and came in to Friday night's clash with Derry City with two wins, two draws, and two losses from their first six games of the season.

They would ultimately fall to a third defeat after Ryan Graydon's early goal, but the main flashpoint of the night was Paddy Barrett's contentious red card.


It certainly seemed like a harsh decision on the Shelbourne midfielder, and it helped Derry to take control of the game in the second half and cruise to a 1-0 win.


Shelbourne manager Damien Duff was not happy at full-time.

Speaking to RTÉ, Duff said that his team had started well, but that Derry had been able to take control after their early goal. He then went on to say that the red card had "killed" the game, and that Shelbourne's chances of coming back had been decided by the red card.

Duff slammed the standard of refereeing in the League of Ireland, saying it was "unacceptable," especially with the standard of the league on field improving in recent years:


The sending off obviously kills it and makes it difficult in the second half.

It's probably subjective, people might have their opinions on it. I don't think it helps when coaches are coming off, walking down the tunnel at half-time and influencing officials that with Paddy's next foul he has to go off.

I didn't think it was a foul, I thought McGonigle tried to back into him. Paddy's come around the front 'cause he's a big strong boy, and he's been punished for that. Second yellow, red card, and game over. It's not acceptable.

It's a refereeing decision that I don't accept. I don't accept the standard of refereeing in this country. We'll have to move on.

We were let down again. It's just a poor, poor decision. I don't know what they do be seeing at times. It's not just me saying it - the fans in the stadium, whether it be home or away...I'm sure Ruaidhrí [Higgins] has as well. It's not acceptable. We're trying to up the standards...standards are going through the roof, and the referees need to come with us.

It's not the first time we've seen Damien Duff unhappy at full-time during his time as Shelbourne manager, but it's certainly one of the most impactful rants in recent memory from the former Ireland international.


Shels will have to dust themselves down and go again over the next week, before their run of three games in eight days against UCD, Sligo Rovers, and defending champions Shamrock Rovers.

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