Four Tipperary officials on Referee Panels for GAA Championships

Eamonn Wynne

Reporter:

Eamonn Wynne

Email:

ewynne@nationalist.ie

Fergal Horgan

Fergal Horgan is included on the panel of ten referees for the 2018 Liam McCarthy Cup GAA Senior Hurling Championship.

Four Tipperary officials are included on the panels of referees for the 2018 Championships in Hurling and Gaelic Football, which have been confirmed by the GAA today, Thursday. 

Ardfinnan’s Derek O’Mahoney is on the football championship panel of eighteen, while Knockavilla-Donaskeigh clubman Fergal Horgan - who took charge of last year’s All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final between Waterford and Galway - is on the hurling championship (Liam McCarthy Cup) panel of ten referees.

Sean Lonergan (Moyle Rovers) is on the football championship linesman panel of eight, while Johnny Ryan (Boherlahan-Dualla) is on the hurling, Joe McDonagh Cup and Christy Ring Cup panel of sixteen.

Two new referees have been included on the championship panel - Monaghan's Martin McNally (Football) and Limerick’s Johnny Murphy (Hurling).

Sligo official Marty Duffy (Football) and Offaly’s Brian Gavin (Hurling) retired from the panel at the end of 2017.

Rory Hickey (Clare) was not considered for the football panel due to injury, while Barry Kelly (Westmeath) has stepped down from hurling refereeing this year. However, both will continue as linesmen in 2018.

National Referees Development Chairman Willie Barrett, from Ardfinnan, was satisfied with how the Allianz Leagues unfolded in both codes.

He said: “Obviously it is a very exciting time for the referees involved, but they would have been waiting with a lot of trepidation for the past fortnight to see who is on and who is not on the panel. It is an exciting time for the referees. Everyone is there on merit.”

"We would be happy overall with the Leagues. Referees aren't going to get every decision 100% right, but we would be very happy in the review of the League with the overall performance of our referees in both Gaelic Football and Hurling. We had some excellent games in the League, we had two excellent Division One Finals and we believe they were all refereed exceptionally well."

Barrett is also adamant that the panel has a nice mix of experienced and emerging officials.

"We are a development committee so we have to develop referees: that is our job,' Barrett says.

"It is very easy to pick the top seven or eight referees and to keep using them the whole time. You aren't developing referees then. We are a development committee, which is why we have the numbers we have. We put referees into big games as standby referees and linesman alongside experienced referees.

“That is how you are going to develop referees, which has been our aim. We are happy we are doing that. We have a good mix of experience to go with the up and coming referees. We are very happy with the layout of our panels.”