Gaelic Games: McConville says 'I was completely wrong' after approaching referee following Sligo defeat

Oisin McConville has 'learned his lesson' after four-week ban
Oisin McConville has 'learned his lesson' after four-week ban

Wicklow manager Oisin McConville says he has 'learned his lesson' after being given a four-week suspension for verbally abusing referee Kieran Eannetta.

The incident occurred after the National League Division Three defeat by Sligo at the start of February.

McConville will miss Wicklow's league games against Westmeath and Clare .

"I was completely wrong," Armagh man McConville said on the GAA Social Podcast on BBC Sounds.

"I spoke to the referee after the game. I suppose, to give my state of events where I thought he went wrong.

"It's not fair for me to go and question the referee at that stage. It's too late. The game's done. It's dusted.

"I felt as if we had calls for having grievances around a lot of things that happened during the game."

McConville didn't want to go into details about his conversation with Eannetta but says he didn't swear nor did he feel he was abusive.

"I didn't feel it was abusive. There was no bad language or anything used," he added.

"There was no swear language used. And the reason why I don't want to say is because I want this to be fair to the referee, because the referee would need to have a right to reply.

'I have to lick my wounds'

McConville failed in his attempts to have his ban overturned at a Central Hearings Committee meeting.

"When I went to the hearings committee, I was told that if the referee felt that I was being aggressive or abusive, then that was it. The line was drawn there," McConville added.

"Obviously, the referee felt that I was being aggressive or abusive and I might be 48 years of age, but I learned a very solemn lesson this week that the referee is always right.

"There's not much I can do about it. So, I have to lick my wounds. A massive mistake on my part and it's come back to bite me.

"But as I say, I'll put it down to experience and I'll try and move on and learn from it. Learnings are good."

McConville believes GAA could learn from other sports such as rugby where "there's an awful lot of dialogue between rugby referees, between the RFU and managers and coaches," but also admitted , "refereeing is an impossible job."

He added that he got "an earful" from his wife, Darina, and the rest of his family over the incident.

"As I say, I've learned my lesson.

"I got an earful from her [Darina] when I went home. I got it from the kids who weren't happy. I took three or four days not to go and see my mother because I thought she'd have forgotten about it.

"I went in and I got the wrath of Margaret. When you read it, you know, you get four weeks for being abusive towards a referee.

"I wouldn't be abusive to anybody on the street or, you know, away from the football pitch.

"So I shouldn't be like that on the football pitch."