MICHELLE Bennett, the Donegal GAA Referees’ Administrator, has hit out at the ‘outrageous’ abuse levelled at some officials in the county.
Bennett, in her report to the annual county convention, which takes place remotely this evening, Bennett says that such abuse will not be tolerated.
“Why is it that some hurlers on the ditch are such sore losers that they heap verbal abuse on the referee from there place of comfort outside the line and outside the wire even to the point of aggressively confronting the referee as she/he leaves the pitch having given of his service,” Bennett said.
“This is outrageous behaviour. This is something I am strongly against and so is the GAA so why do clubs let it happen?
“We have had a few referees abused this year and thanks to the CCC these abusers have been appropriately dealt with.
“In saying that I reach out to all clubs to please speak to your managers and mentors and also to club members and make it clear that abusing a referee is not acceptable and will not be tolerated under any circumstances.
“To each club; if you have members who engage in abusive behaviour – you know who they are; you know that it isn’t just one referee that they pick on it is many. Why not be proactive, why not deal with it within your club constitution and rules. Prevention is much better than cure.”
This year, there were 12 new referees trained and Bennett hopes that all of them will be active in 2021.
Two new Referee Advisors are active in Donegal with eight people now in such roles.
She said: “We have set out and agreed a process with the CCC to foster the progression of competent and ambitious referees up through the ranks.
“We have piloted our progression plan in this Covid-19 year and are happy that it will work well when we return to the normal playing season.”
Bennett says that there is a need to address a problem regarding referees at underage level – something that means that the Northern and Southern Regional Boards are, the Administrator, says, ‘struggling with just trying to keep fixtures going, especially whenever there is a full adult fixture list in play.’
Bennett said: “I know that the NRB are working of a pool of 31 referees (adult & underage) but it struggled at times to cover games. For example, on one Friday evening it had seven games to cover on the Saturday and could only cover five and had to get two referees in from outside the NRB.
“This is a great strain on the boards and the referees. Referees have put so much effort in this year to get all games played but this overlap of underage and adult fixtures at weekends needs to be addressed.”
Bennett highlighted the continuing issue of some clubs not having an active referee for underage games.Tags: