McAllister’s return to top-level officiating coincides with the size of the hurling championship referees panel increasing from 12 to 14.
His inclusion means Cork now hold strongest representation in the leading group of hurling referees; Diarmuid Kirwan and Colm Lyons — the latter took charge of the recent league final — are again selected. Antrim’s Colum Cunning is listed for the first time.
Meath whistler Cormac Reilly is another who has been brought in out of the cold after being dropped last year, he is part of the football championship panel which has also grown by two. Fermanagh’s Niall Cullen and Mayo’s Jerome Henry are the newcomers on the panel. Eddie Kinsella’s absence stems from his decision to retire from top-level refereeing at the end of 2016.
Five members of the football panel have taken charge of All-Ireland senior finals — David Coldrick (2007, ’10 and ’15), Maurice Deegan (2008, ’12 and ’16 replay), Joe McQuillan (2011 and ’13), Marty Duffy (2009) and Conor Lane (2016 drawn game), while five on the hurling roster have been in the middle for the showpiece event — Barry Kelly (2006, ’08, ’12 drawn game and ’14 drawn game), Brian Gavin (2011, ’13 drawn game, ’14 replay and 2016), Diarmuid Kirwan (2007 and ’09), James McGrath (2012 replay and ’13 replay) and James Owens (2015).
C Branagan (Down), B Cassidy (Derry), D Coldrick (Meath), N Cullen (Fermanagh), M Deegan (Laois), M Duffy (Sligo), D Gough (Meath), J Henry (Mayo), R Hickey (Clare), P Hughes (Armagh), S Hurson (Tyrone), F Kelly (Longford), C Lane (Cork), J McQuillan (Cavan), N Mooney (Cavan), P Neilan (Roscommon), A Nolan (Wicklow), D O’Mahony (Tipperary), P O’Sullivan (Kerry), C Reilly (Meath).
J Bermingham (Cork), B Cawley (Kildare), L Devenney (Mayo), P Faloon (Down), J Hickey (Carlow), S McLaughlin (Donegal), M McNally (Monaghan), J Molloy (Galway).
S Cleere (Kilkenny), C Cunning (Antrim), B Gavin (Offaly), F Horgan (Tipperary), J Keenan (Wicklow), A Kelly (Galway), B Kelly (Westmeath), D Kirwan (Cork), C Lyons (Cork), C McAllister (Cork), J McGrath (Westmeath), P O’Dwyer (Carlow), J Owens (Wexford), J Ryan (Tipperary).
J Clarke (Cavan), J Keane (Galway), J O’Brien (Tipperary), R McGann (Clare), J Murphy (Limerick), M Murtagh (Westmeath).