It is not for the faint-hearted or the thin-skinned, is often thankless, stressful, time-consuming and there a very few of us that have not cursed them from time to time. It can also be very rewarding and referee-ing, is one of the most vital cogs in the GAA and behind it all many Gaels have a sneaking admiration for them, the job they do and they obvious love they have for our games. Donegal is fortunate enough to welcome 17 new referees willing to take on the mantle in 2019.
Our picture shows a dozen of them. They were presented with their certificates at GAA HQ in Croke Park at the weekend. There are Naoise Enright, Tony Simmons, Daniel Mogan, Ciaran O’Neill, James Callaghan, Patrick McCarthy, Stephen Doherty, David Keaney, Darrragh Ward, John Ward, Conal McBrearty and Paul Hardy. Also in the picture are Michelle Bennett the Referee’s Administrator in Donegal, Jimmy White and Frank Dooley (Donegal tutors), Willie Barrett (Chairman of the National Referee Development Committee), Vincent Neary (Chairman of the Referee Instructor Workgroup) and Úachtarán Cumman Luthchléas Gael, John Horan.
The five new referees from Donegal that were unable to make the presentation were Suzanne White (Na Cealla Beaga), Chris Kelly (Aodh Ruadh BAS), John Paul Gallagher (Cloich Cheann Fhaola), Brendan Callaghan (Gaeil Fhánada) and Paul Quinn (Naomh Adhamhnain).