Tweet surprise for Ennis referee

Tweet surprise for Ennis referee

SHARE did GAA referee Rory Hickey realise after officiating over the Connacht football final last weekend that he would become a Twitter talking-point but not for his whistle-blowing skills.

The social media shy Clare man was recognised by someone whom he hadn’t seen in over two decades although they had been Irish school classmates and pen pals for many years afterwards.

When she recognised Rory on the television almost 23 years later, Georgina Bowes from Dublin tweeted: “Oh my God. The referee Rory Hickey was in the Gaeltacht with me. I had a massive crush on him. Pen pals for years after.”

Posting a copy of the letters the the young friends exchanged, Georgina quipped: “Letters? What letters? Oh, these letters you mean? No Facebook or Twitter back then.”

In a later tweet she said: “It occurs to me now that Rory may actually see this and my first ever (secret) crush may be exposed.”

As the conversation about her seeing her “first crush” swept across the social media, it wasn’t long before Rory Hickey heard about it.

Dual referee Rory Hickey said: “I got a bit of a surprise when I sat back into the car and checked my phone. I’m not on Twitter or Facebook myself so friends and family were sending me information and asking who Georgina Bowes was.

It took me a few minutes but then I recalled Georgina from my time in Coláiste Sheosamh in Connemara back around 1992 or 93. We became good friends and pen pals afterwards. Contact was lost then but Georgina recognised my name as she was watching the Connacht final last weekend,” Rory added.

“After she recognised me, she took to twitter. It’s amazing that Georgina still has the letters I sent. As of yet I haven’t spoken to her but will try in some way to make contact. It’s kind of like an episode of “reeling in the years”, he said.

Ms Bowes, now also married and to another Rory coincidentally, admits to being “intrigued by the reaction he (Rory Hickey) got.”

“It was lovely to see him on the telly. I’m married to another Rory now. Never gave much thoughts to my tweets at the time,” she added.