Ref attacked at U15s football match

An investigation has been launched after a 22-year-old referee was assaulted by an adult at an U15s Dublin schoolboys football match at the weekend.

Roy Kavanagh was refereeing the game on Saturday afternoon in south west Dublin, when he was attacked “for no reason” by an adult. During the attack, he suffered severe bruising to his stomach, arms and legs after being repeatedly kicked.

The incident was reported to the Gardaí and is also being investigated by the Dublin District Schoolboy League (DDSL).

Writing on Facebook, where he posted pictures of his injuries, Mr Kavanagh described the incident.

“I never once hit or tried to hit back and still he kept kicking me. I can’t give names because the league and guards need to deal with this the correct way. I’m shaken by it, there is no point in saying I’m not,” he wrote.

Mr Kavanagh also said incidents of violence were one of the key reasons why people were no longer willing to volunteer to referee games.

“The last thing I expect is to be attacked and assaulted for no reason other than the fact I am a referee. Now I see why so many young lads are reluctant to do this.”

Chairman of DDSL, Paddy Dempsey, said he was “appalled” by the incident and said that a disciplinary meeting was being held on Thursday.

“There is a procedure followed for all incidents. It’s a laid down procedure. It will begin on Thursday night. It will be investigated thoroughly and the league will follow through. If the person is found guilty, there are punishments and they will be enforced rigorously by the league and by our governing bodies the FAI and the SFAI,” he told RTÉ.


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