GAA clubs across Co Clare are being encouraged to make the recruitment of referees a priority for 2017.
This year four recruited referees successfully completed a Level 1 foundation course. They are Aaron Fitzgerald (Parteen), Liam Clohessy (St Josephs Doora/Barefield), Barry Keating (Lissycasey) and Martin Glynn (Killanena).
It has been revealed that there is a shortage of referees in parts of Clare. There is less whistle blowers in the North and West Clare football areas while the same applies for hurling in East Clare.
Speaking at the annual Clare GAA Convention, Clare Referee Administrator, Ger Hoey pleaded with clubs to make an effort to find prospective referees. “Each club in the county is asked to make the recruitment of referees a priority at their annual general meeting and committee meetings in January”.
“Another area of referee support is the role of the advisor at club level. In 2016 we had very limited access to advisors to observe our referees officiating at games, so we are appealing for people to consider helping the Clare Referees Administration Committee by becoming a referee advisor in 2017”.
Hoey paid tribute to the current batch of referees in the county. He said they “play a central role in the smooth running of the Clare GAA programme of games each year. I wish to acknowledge the ongoing goodwill, commitment, flexibility and support that they provide to all levels of the association and I sincerely appreciate the role of referees’ families”.
A former inter-county referee and current club man in the middle, Ger highlighted the need for respect to be given to officials. “All club officers and mentors are reminded of their responsibility in relation to the appropriate behaviour of themselves and their clubs during the playing of games. Any verbal abuse of match officials should not be tolerated and in 2017 we will be reinforcing with our referees to report all instances of above”.
In 2016 three club officials received suspensions for abuse of referees at club games in Clare. Twelve players were dismissed as a result of clashes with match officials for offences such as verbal abuse, challenging the authority of a referee, foul and abusive language, disagreeing with in an aggressive manner and use of threatening language to a referee.