Derry senior football manager Brian McIver has reportedly stepped down after a furious outburst at the standard of refereeing following the Oak Leafers’ All Ireland Qualifying defeat to Galway in Salthill on Saturday.
Derry lost out by six points to the Tribesmen in a game during which the home side scored only 1-2 from play as Gary Sice and Paul Conroy helped themselves to nine points from frees. A number of those awards looked highly questionable and alongside an extremely harsh first half black card for Brendan Rogers, it left the Ballinderry man furious with Cork referee Conor Lane.
McIver’s mood wasn’t helped when, 60 seconds after Cailean O’Boyle had a penalty appeal turned down, Galway scored their crucial second half goal to go seven points up and effectively win the game.
“I’ve stepped down. Totally retired,” McIver explained after the game
“I couldn’t live with that kind of a performance ever again from a referee on a football field. You are banging your head against a brick wall.”
“The penalty decision a six-point turnaround. He’s a referee from Cork. He could have seen it in Cork.
“Everything in the GAA over the last 20 years has moved forward immensely except the standard of refereeing.
“They scored eight points in the first half and seven of them frees and three of them moved in. How they hell do you not argue with it when there is hardly a hand put on one of them?
“There is no heat of the moment in this. That’s the worst refereeing performance I’ve ever seen in my life.”
McIver was appointed to the Derry post in September 2012 following spells with Donegal and Down and led the Oak Leafers to promotion in his first season and the Division one final in his second.
However Championship success has eluded him during his spell in charge with damaging qualifying defeats to Cavan, Longford and now Galway following on from disappointing Ulster Championship campaigns.
The Derry manager had come in for criticism from high profile names such as Glenullin star Paddy Bradley who called for him to step down after the Galway defeat but his resignation will come as a major shock to most, especially given he was three years into what he had claimed would be a five year plan.