Gaels may occasionally indulge in a deserved chortle at the mishaps that plague the soccer-playing fraternity, and I don't think there's anyone who feels too much sympathy for Mssrs Keys and Gray for their misogynistic outlook on Sian Massey and other lineswomen. But let's not be naive. The GAA has deeply-entrenched refereeing issues of its own and we're a long time away from seeing a lineswoman at Croke Park in August or September. The last football Championship was dominated by terrible, decisive decisions by Martin Sludden and Pat McEnaney and you can sure there will be more this season. But rather than relying on Hawk-Eye technology or God forbid, video replay, it is high time that the GAA turned to its greatest asset to solve its refereeing crisis: the women of Ireland.
It's a bad Ray D'Arcy-esque cliche but the Irish mammy is the bedrock of our rapidly disintegrating society. She is a stern, unshakable voice of fairness and decency and would instill the bloodcurdling fear that every referee needs to control a match. A well-drilled team of female referees and lineswomen at senior intercounty matches would be a bold step ahead for the GAA. They would command respect and you can bet they could correctly interpret the square ball rule, unlike Mr McEnaney.