No opposition to referee proposals, insists Curley

NATIONAL referees committee (NRC) chairman Mick Curley is unaware of any opposition to their decision to allow only officials under the age of 35 to become new members of the inter-county panels.
No opposition to referee proposals, insists Curley

It is understood some members of Central Council are against the idea of restricting entry to the panel to younger officials and it’s possible a meeting with the NRC will be sought to discuss the matter further.

However, Curley hasn’t heard of any resistance to the measure, which is designed to freshen up the list of top whistleblowers.

“It’s in place just as is the rule forreferees to leave the inter-county panel at the age of 50,” said Curley. “I’m not aware of any opposition to it.”

Last March, the NRC announced a raft of decisions under the national refereeing plan such as specialised pre-season fitness and rules tests. Included among them was putting an inter-county retirement cap from January 1 of this year.

It means Monaghan’s Pat McEnaney, regarded as one of the best football referees in the country, will be compelled to quit at the end of this season. Wexford hurling referee Dickie Murphy also turns 50 this year and will no longer be available after next September.

Meanwhile, the NRC won’t be making any comment on the possibility of Hawk-Eye score technology being introduced into top inter-county championship games until it is given the green light by the GAA.

“We haven’t really discussed it as it,” he admitted. “But if it comes in we’ll see how it works.”

Curley also said there is nothing unusual about Martin Sludden not being selected to officiate in any of this weekend’s Allianz NFL games. Tyrone man Sludden was in charge of last Sunday’s Division 3 game between Westmeath and Cavan in Mullingar but was not chosen for duty in any round 3 fixture. Curley said: “There’s nothing in his absence apart from that whatsoever.”

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