Eoghan McLaughlin suffered a double jaw fracture during Mayo's All-Ireland semi-final victory over Dublin on Saturday and will require surgery. Referee Conor Lane's decision not to intervene has been widely criticised in the aftermath of the game.
McLaughlin left the field on a stretcher after a challenge by Dublin’s John Small. Several Mayo players and manager James Horan were left visibly outraged but at the time, RTE co-commentator Kevin McStay said it was a legitimate shoulder-to-shoulder challenge.
Speaking on The Sunday Game, McStay clarified his position and explained how the situation unfolded.
"I did (think it was fair in real-time)," he said.
I think it is important that I say of course, now that I have viewed it numerous times with the lads all day, it is an absolute red card. In real-time, the angle I was at. Also, the replay did not go up as speedily as normal because it was known it was a bad injury. They choose not to show it, that is important.
I was 80, 90 metres away from it with Darragh in the co-commentary position. I am not trying to excuse it. It was a red card, a bad call by me. I wish young McLaughlin all the best. It was just a shocking hit.
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) August 15, 2021
Oisin McConville said the officials made two mistakes in their handling of the matter.
"It was a horrendous tackle. One of the things for me, John Small sizes him up as you can see. He sizes him up to shoulder him, I have no doubt about that. I am not saying he is going in to do what he did.
"It is his duty of care, by the letter of the law, to execute that shoulder shoulder-to-shoulder. He hits him down the middle. How Conor Lane, Maurice Deegan both 10, 15 yards away weren't able to see that?
"There are two mistakes. Firstly, not calling the foul and not stopping the game because it was obviously a serious head injury."
He went on to add that Dublin forward Paddy Small should have also have received a red card for his high tackle later in the game. The Ballymun attacker was only shown yellow at the time.
"Not just stupidity, that is another red card. Paddy Small, not just a head-high tackle but another red card."