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Carrigdhoun Referees Host AGM



A gathering of the Carrigdhoun's top match officials met at the Huntsman Bar and Restaurant, Belgooly, for their annual AGM and dinner on Wednesday night. 


Special guest County Board Referee Co-ordinator, Niall Barrett, paid tribute to the division's standard of match officials, whom he described as 'top class'. 


He particularly commended Alan O'Connor, Ballygarvan, and Brian Coniry, Crosshaven, remarking, "The two lads here, Alan and Brian, set the tone. They do their job well, they take it seriously, but they also have a bit of craic and banter." 


Paying tribute to Valley Rover's Kevin O'Sullivan, who recently received the Cork County Board-sponsored award as the best new referee award in December for the 2023 season. 

Niall suggested Kevin had a bright future ahead of him, but it was also important to remain grounded. 


He also acknowledged the return of Belgooly's Liam O'Riordan, who will be making a welcome return to the role of réiteoir following a recent illness.



'I am delighted to see him back,' remarked Barrett.



Reflecting on the respect given to the man in the middle, Barrett suggested there was a time when referees didn't even receive a cup of tea after officiating at county finals.


'Go back to the time the TSB was sponsoring the county finals. Both teams attended the man of the match award the following day, but there was no sign of the referee and his officials,” remarked Barrett.


Barrett credited Cork's All-Ireland winning captain, Tomas Mulcahy, for changing that.   


"We need to improve the role of the referee, nothing major, just be appreciated," he said. 


As the county referee coordinator, he said no one man could do the job on their own, so he set up a committee to examine the role and make positive changes. 


"I'd like to think we are getting there, and things are improving,"


Adding his voice of support and the backing of the South East Board, Chairman of the Carrigdhoun Division, Myles Barry, said, "If you are looking for anything, the board is always there, and we have never left you down yet, and I don't think we will either." 


Outgoing Carrigdhoun referee Co-ordinator Kevin Joyce, who is passing on the baton to Crosshaven's Ronan Cogan, said,"We are lucky the South East Board is very good to us, and Declan O'Neill is always at the end of the phone if we have a problem."


Joyce suggested that since players returned from Covid, there has been a lot of aggression.


 "It is the small and insignificant games that this behaviour is coming out," he remarked.  


He advised his fellow officials to use the strong links between them if they have a tough day at a game. He recommended picking up the phone to a colleague.


It is not always a difficult assignment, as he remarked, "Most of the time, it's fun and a bit of craic, and it leads to a night like this.' 




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