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Referee Rory Hickey

Sixmilebridge want ref swapping deal with Limerick

TWO Clare GAA clubs will table motions at the upcoming Clare GAA convention to alter the refereeing situation for senior championship games within the county. Sixmilebridge will propose to implement a referee-swap system, whereby referees from outside Clare would officiate at all senior club matches within the county and, likewise, Clare referees would travel outside the county to officiate elsewhere. The move, described in the motion, is to “avoid the current situation of clubs not being able to agree on referees and would provide the utmost impartiality”. Ruan GAA will propose that, “The appointment of referees for all adult championship games in both codes from 2020 onwards be the responsibility of the Clare
GAA Referees Association”. This would effectively move control of referee appointments to games from the fixtures committee to the referees association solely. Sixmilebridge PRO Syl O’Connor stressed that his club’s motion was considered two years ago and that while some might “see this in a different light”, it is not personnel related. “What is behind the whole thing is just to get an extra bit of refereeing variety all over Munster. We would be hoping that due to the proximity of the counties in Munster, that they may inject a bit of variety into the whole thing and it could be designed in a way to take a bit of pressure off referees. I know some people might get a different impression from it but it is not meant in that way at all,” O’Connor explained. The vice-chair of the Clare GAA Referees Association Rory Hickey has said that he would be extremely doubtful that there would be any appetite among referees in Clare to go outside the county to referee club games. “It is an ill-informed motion. There should have been a little more research done by those who put the motion together, as there is a fixtures committee in Clare that meet on a Monday and they are the ones that appoint the referees. “I can say with 99.9% certainty that there is zero appetite for Clare referees to go to maybe Limerick or elsewhere to ref games. I’m based in Ennis. If I’ve to ref senior football championship, I’m heading to Miltown Malbay. I don’t fancy going to Kilmallock or wherever else. “From a personal point of view, I have absolutely zero appetite for that. “There were two new referees reffing our county finals this year.
You wouldn’t get the same satisfaction out of going to another county to referee a county final,” Hickey said. He also stressed that the referees have been working with the fixtures committee as well as the county secretary and chairman and referee notification in the last few years has dramatically improved and the current system is “working well”. Ruan’s motion to allow the referees association to choose referees from 2020 onwards in both codes is with the interest of it being, “the norm in other counties for referees to do the selection of referees for games, so we would just be following the practice of other counties,” according to Ruan secretary Gerard Lyons. These motions will be voted on by county board delegates at the annual Clare GAA convention, which will take place on December 13.

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