GAA referee: Why I am quitting

GAA referee: Why I am quitting

Tipperary referee Paddy Russell has said the announcement of his inter county retirement has nothing to do with the fallout from the controversy over Paul Galvin's sending off in the Munster Championship this season.

The Premier native says spending more time with his family is the main motivating factor for quitting now.

Inspired by the late John Moloney, Russell took his first steps in refereeing in 1976.

Russell has found himself at the centre of controversial GAA episodes in recent years and in 'Final Whistle', a book detailing his career co-written by Jackie Cahill, he talks about the incidents with fresh material from former Dublin footballer Charlie Redmond and Tyrone legend Peter Canavan.

Russell's career has been laced with drama, including the famous incident with Redmond in 1995 when the player was sent off twice in the All-Ireland final.

Redmond's refusal to leave the pitch was voted as number 16 on RTÉ TV's Top 20 Moments that shook Irish sport.

Russell took charge of the tempestuous National Football League clash between Dublin and Tyrone in 2006, which became known as 'The Battle of Omagh', and the stormy showdown between Leinster rivals Dublin and Meath in April 2008, when five players were sent off.

On June 15, 2008, Kerry captain Paul Galvin slapped the notebook from Russell's hands and was handed a six-month suspension from the GAA, later halved on appeal.

In 'Final Whistle', Russell reflects on his eventful journey, including these landmark matches, and describes vividly the stresses and strains of refereeing modern-day Gaelic games.

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