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O’Carroll named Morecambe’s No. 2 ahead of Spurs trip

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by Adam Moynihan

Diarmuid O’Carroll took another positive step in his coaching career this past week as he was promoted to the role of assistant manager at English League One club Morecambe.

The former Killarney Athletic and Glasgow Celtic player had been the club’s first team coach since the start of the season but Morecambe confirmed on Tuesday that O’Carroll would be stepping up to become manager Stephen Robinson’s right-hand man. The 34-year-old replaces former assistant manager John McMahon who resigned before Christmas.

O’Carroll’s first match as Morecambe’s No. 2 could scarcely be any bigger: the third-tier outfit travel to London on Sunday to take on Spurs in the third round of the FA Cup. The fixture will be special for Morecambe’s manager and assistant manager in more ways than one. Robinson started his playing career at Tottenham; O’Carroll is a lifelong Arsenal fan.

Ross Road native O’Carroll, who enjoyed a colourful playing career that included spells in Scotland, England, Iceland, Belgium and Northern Ireland, is a popular figure in the Lancashire town having lined out for Morecambe in 2008/09.

EXCITED

Speaking to the Shrimps’ website after securing his latest promotion, O’Carroll said he was excited by the opportunity.

“It’s brilliant. I worked well with John [McMahon] when he was here as well, and I wish him all the best for wherever he ends up next.

“From my point-of-view, I’m excited. I came in with the manager as a first team coach initially, so for me, and I’m sure for the manager, not a whole pile will change from our day-to-day working.

“It’s a fantastic one for me, there’s a bit of pride to have once been playing here, being first team coach and now assistant manager, so I’m delighted.

“From Stephen’s point of view, I know what he wants. I’ve worked with him before so it allows me to have a little bit more influence on things, potentially with staff and with the academy. It puts more responsibility at my door which is brilliant.

“I can try and drive certain things that he likes and he wants because he doesn’t have the time to do it. He has enough balls in the air trying to get points and look at transfer windows and different things like that, so it allows me to crack on with the other stuff and take a little bit off his plate if possible.”

As he unveiled O’Carroll as his new assistant, Robinson spoke highly of his attributes as a coach.

“I brought Diarmuid to the football club, I knew what he could bring to it. He’s a fantastic coach.

“He’s a brilliant personality around the place, very, very popular among the players, so I think it’s a really good step up for Diarmuid as well. He’ll be a fantastic help to me as he always is.”

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Glorious weather for Kerry County Coastal Rowing championships

It was a day of glorious sunshine yesterday (Sunday) as Flesk Valley Rowing Club hosted the 2022 Kerry County Coastal Rowing championships for the very first time in beautiful Castlelough […]

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It was a day of glorious sunshine yesterday (Sunday) as Flesk Valley Rowing Club hosted the 2022 Kerry County Coastal Rowing championships for the very first time in beautiful Castlelough Bay on Lough Lein.

Hundreds flocked to the Valley shore to see the coastal clubs of Kerry race in crews from Under 12 to Masters. As well as clubs from around the Ring of Kerry, there was a strong representation from the Killarney clubs with the Workmen, Commercials and Fossa wearing their colours with pride. The atmosphere, colour, fun and fierce competition produced a spectacular day that will live long in the memory.

The event was opened by the Councillor John O’Donoghue, vice chair of the Killarney Municipal District who congratulated Flesk Valley on their centenary, which occurred during 1920, and wished all of the clubs a successful day’s racing.

The first race was preceded by a special blessing of the boats by Fr Eugene McGillycuddy, who also remembered Brendan Teahan of Cromane Rowing Club in his prayers.

Afterwards John Fleming, chair of Flesk Valley, expressed his immense pride and satisfaction with the success of the regatta.

“It’s our first time ever hosting a regatta, but we wanted to do something special to mark our 102 years in existence,” he said.

“It was a lot of work, but we have a fantastic hard-working committee in Flesk Valley who really pulled out all the stops to make it happen, and we received fantastic support from our members, parents, other clubs and local businesses.”

John also thanked the Kerry Coastal Rowing Association, in particular Mary B Teahan and Andrew Wharton, and the staff of the Killarney National Park for all their support and encouragement in hosting this event.

This was a qualifying event and the Kerry clubs will be heading to Wexford next weekend to complete for honours at the All-Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships.

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Live referee mics should be the norm – swearing concerns be damned

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by Adam Moynihan

I was disappointed to learn that the GAA are preventing TG4 from using their live referee mic in this Sunday’s Wexford hurling final.

(And not just because I had already written an article saying how great live referee mics are and how they are sure to be implemented across the board. Ctrl + A. Delete.)

TG4’s GAA coverage is superb and they raised the bar once again when they mic’d up referee John O’Halloran for the Kerry hurling final between Causeway and Ballyduff.

Pinning a microphone on the referee is standard practice in televised rugby and judging by the positive response to Gaelic games’ first foray into this territory, I was expecting it to become the norm.

It still might but, explaining their decision to The 42, the GAA said that they were not aware beforehand of the ref mic being trialled in Stack Park on Sunday.

“They believe such a development will require more discussion and education if it is to be implemented on a more regular basis in live TV coverage and could possibly need a policy change,” Fintan O’Toole reported.

The image of the Association is surely the primary concern here.

Players and managers – usually the worst behaved participants when it comes to things like swearing – will be among those who get “educated” on the subject. Some verbal abuse that might otherwise be muted for television viewers will, in all likelihood, be picked up by the referee’s microphone. You would imagine that the teams involved will be reminded of this the week of a televised game.

It also makes sense from Croke Park’s point of view to speak to referees and give them guidance on how to conduct themselves when the mic is on.

In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if senior GAA figures are currently fretting over the possibility of an agitated ref making headlines for something they say in the heat of the moment. And make no mistake about it, some match officials can eff and jeff with the best of them.

A friend of mine (a Wexford man, funnily enough) recalls an incident when a teammate was unceremoniously taken out of it by an opponent.

“Ah ref, for f***’s sake!” the victim complained.

“I gave you the f***ing free,” the referee replied. “What do you want me to do, slap him in the face with a wet fish?!”

The GAA might think that a referee swearing like that would leave all of us red-faced. In reality the clip would be a viral sensation and the general public would probably call for the official in question to run for Áras an Uachtárain. (He’d get my ****ing vote.)

The odd swear word from someone involved is bound to sneak through every now and then but you’d hear the same – and plenty more – at any match you attend from Cahersiveen to County Antrim.

Implementing the referee mic on a wider scale is a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned. It doesn’t appear to take a huge amount of effort or expense for the broadcaster to set it up and, more importantly, it offers a wonderful insight into the unknown.

Listening to referees explain their decisions in real time will clear a lot of things up for commentators, analysts and the media. We will no longer have to speculate about what they did or did not see, or what specific rule is being cited, or why.

Viewers, especially those who might be casual followers of the sport, will appreciate it too and become more educated; I know that’s how I feel when I watch rugby, for example.

It just leads to greater transparency and understanding.

Well done to TG4 and the Kerry County Board for being the pioneers. I’m sure others will follow their lead – as soon as the GAA allow them to do so.

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