BY CHRIS MCNULTY
2011 All-Ireland final referee Joe McQuillan has been appointed to take charge of this year’s Ulster final between Donegal and Down.
McQuillan, from the Kill Shamrocks club in Cavan, was confirmed as the Ulster final whistler by the Ulster Council this week.
McQuillan took charge of the All-Ireland final between Kerry and Dublin last year – and Kerry boss Jack O’Connor questioned the Cavan man’s display in the wake of his team’s defeat to the Dubs.
“If you say anything about referees, you’re portrayed as a whinger,” said O’Connor.
“But I’ll make a general comment that it appeared to us on the line that it was much harder for our fellas to get frees than it was the other way around.
“The likes of Declan [O’Sullivan] and Darran [O’Sullivan] at times got a lot of abuse going through when attacking. They found it hard to get frees.
“There was a couple that went against us, the most obvious being for handling the ball on the ground. That was a mistake as the replay told.”
McQuillan has previously refereed two Leinster finals, a Munster final as well as club and U21 All-Ireland finals.
He refereed the National League meeting of Donegal and Down in Newry back in February – a game won by Down.
More recently, he took charge of the Armagh-Tyrone Ulster quarter-final at the Morgan Athletic Grounds.
DECLAN BONNER will look to collect the first piece of silverware from his second tenure in charge of Donegal.