Pat Doherty did not want to talk about individual incidents.
"What I will say is that the rules are there to deal with those sort of things," said Doherty, the GAA's National Match Officials Manager, at the launch of the association's new Referee Development Plan last week.
The type of incident to which Doherty was referring is that which broke out during the Kerry SFC semi-final replay between Dingle and East Kerry on Sunday. It was one where a backroom team member of one team appeared to strike an opposition player.
If there are incidents in games, it’s up to the referee to report them and it’s up to the committee in charge to deal with the referee’s report. The rules are there to deal with them.
That’s what I feel about it - the rules are there and let’s deal with them. Let the referees report properly and let the committees in charge deal with them.
Asked if the rules are being sufficiently implemented, Doherty said:
"I’m not going to comment of individual cases as to whether they’re dealt with properly or not because we don’t know because we don’t see inside the referees’ reports for a start. Even if we did, it’s up to the counties to deal with them.
"I suppose you’re saying they [the rules] don’t curtail [these incidents]. Is the implementation of the rule or is it the rule being vigorously put down that stops somebody doing something like that?
"You often look at court reports and you see somebody in court and he’s got 40 previous convictions. If he was convicted for something, then why did he do it again? I don’t know what it takes, I don’t know what it takes from that point of view."
Does there need to be a cultural change within the GAA?
"We all know it’s not acceptable.
"I think the people who did it, and if you take a particular incident, and I’m sure the people who did it will say ‘I wish I didn’t do that’ because it was wrong, and they know it was wrong.
"It’s society, isn’t it?"
Picture credit: Sportsfile