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Buckley: Lack of referees is a ‘huge issue’ for Carbery ahead of championships

June 17th, 2024 9:00 AM

By Sean Holland

Buckley: Lack of referees is a ‘huge issue’ for Carbery ahead of championships Image
Carbery GAA PRO Tim Buckley.

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THE lack of referees could impact the upcoming Carbery junior football and hurling championships.

With the division’s football championship scheduled for throw-in on Friday, July 26th, and the hurling starting on Saturday, August 3rd, excitement is starting to build as Carbery clubs plan towards the various championships.

With Carbery running junior A, B and C/D football championships, as well as junior A and B hurling championships, the schedule will be hectic, and the county championships will also be underway at the same time, so Carbery GAA PRO Tim Buckley feels the lack of availability of referees could present challenges.

‘A huge issue for us at the moment is referees being available,’ Buckley admitted. 

‘Once you lose a referee or two through injury, illness, or work, it changes the whole schedule. These referees are available as well to referee county games. You're multiplying your fixture list in West Cork with the county board fixtures as well. So the referees administrator Donal McCarthy, we talk about congestion, his life will be very busy from July on’.

The shortage of referees in West Cork is not a new problem but has become more acute in recent years. To address the issue, Carbery GAA has initiated several measures aimed at recruiting and retaining referees. As Buckley explains, work has commenced with the clubs in the region to introduce young people to refereeing, offering training programs that can serve as a pathway into officiating.

‘We started it this year. It's not a project that's going to be one year. We're going to continue with it. We feel that the emphasis has to be through the clubs and through our underage recruitment. That you start them off young. 

‘There are loads of avenues you could explore because U12, U14 players, not all of them keep playing until they’re minor and there's a route there for someone to go down to be a referee or a linesman or an umpire, and we sorely need them.’

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