Former players urged to pick up a whistle and get involved in refereeing
BY KIERAN McCARTHY
CARBERY GAA Referees’ Coordinator Donal McCarthy has issued an appeal to ex-players to get involved in refereeing in the division.
Currently there are approximately 40 referees in Carbery and McCarthy believes that the division needs 50 refs to comfortably cover matches at all levels.
A number of former players have started to officiate local games and this is a trend that McCarthy wants to see continue.
The Carbery GAA Secretary is also urging the nine Carbery clubs – there are 26 in the division – that don’t supply any referees to get involved. Otherwise, he predicts a scenario where there will be a shortage of refs for local matches.
‘We have around 40 active referees in the division – but you need to take into consideration the number of games played each season,’ McCarthy outlined.
‘At Rebel Óg level there are almost 800 fixtures, at adult level between league and championship there are almost 300 games, then you have nine football clubs – seven senior and two intermediate – who need referees for their fixtures, while in hurling you have two senior clubs and three intermediate clubs who also need referees.
‘County Rebel Óg comes in for non-exam league and their league programme plus you have the two Beara clubs, Castletownbere and Adrigole, and it is Carbery referees who officiate at their league games. Then there are other games, development squad games, etc., that need to be covered.
‘The referees there at the moment are doing a fantastic job and they are probably covering camogie in the eastern end of the division and some also take charge of ladies’ football games.
‘There are a huge amount of games to cater for and you need every club to supply referees if we are to progress and move on.’
McCarthy is conscious that Carbery GAA needs a fresh influx of referees with some current refs moving towards the latter end of their officiating career. This is why he is calling on former players and players on the verge of retirement to consider becoming a referee.
‘I believe that we need 50 referees in the division to be comfortable,’ he said.
‘Some referees we have, who have given great service, are moving on but they are still refereeing and we will need to replace them at some stage, that’s very important to remember.
‘We want to keep everyone involved but we need younger referees coming in, especially as the top games are getting faster.
‘We’re planning on running a referees’ course in Bantry later this year and we’re hopeful of recruiting new referees, ideally ex-players or players who are on the verge of retiring and anyone interested in becoming a referee. I would appeal to those to take up refereeing because if we don’t have referees, the games won’t take place.’
McCarthy continued: ‘A number of ex-players have come on board and that’s great to see. You have Dave Harmon from Ilen Rovers, Liam O’Shea from Carbery Rangers, who are ex-players, there is Joe O’Donnell from Bantry Blues who is a very good hurling referee, Kieran Daly from Ilen Rovers has started refereeing underage games, and there are a number of other young refs on the way up, too. We’d like to see that continue and for more people to get involved in refereeing – that’s what Carbery GAA needs.’
At January’s Carbery board meeting the current refereeing situation in the division was highlighted with particular focus on nine clubs who supply no refs. McCarthy has a message for them.
‘That’s a big problem,’ he stated.
‘I would ask those clubs to get involved because some day it will happen that we won’t be able to provide a referee for their game and then the penny will drop.
‘Clubs can’t keep ignoring the situation or we will have a problem at some stage.