Bantry ref Dullea urges more of the GAA faithful to get involved as officials

Bantry ref Dullea urges more of the GAA faithful to get involved as officials
Orlagh Farmer of Cork and referee Niall McCormack in the league earlier this year. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

BANTRY BLUES footballer and club referee Mairead Dullea is encouraging more people to get involved in officiating within the ladies football.

The LGFA are currently running a linesperson training course via two webinars for females only.

“I would highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in getting involved in officiating in ladies football.

“I have really enjoyed the last two years being involved as a linesperson. You get to work with the top referees in the game.

“As a referee myself, this has given me a great insight into how best to prepare for big games and how to perform well on the pitch,” declared the official.

There are many advantages to signing up for this course and becoming a trained linesperson revealed Mairead.

“You get to see great games. I’ve done both underage and adult games. Being part of a team of officials who help make ladies football the game that it is, represents a nice feeling.

“The ability to work as part of a team is essential in the role, as is a thorough knowledge of the rules. For the televised games you are mic'd up and this is of enormous benefit to the whole team of officials.

“The LGFA are doing a fantastic job at encouraging and supporting females who wish to get involved in the association.

“I have found it very rewarding and fun. I have met some great characters. Also with more and more doubleheaders with the men, you get to officiate at county grounds.

“My first game was in Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney. That was a great experience.”

Ladies football referee Mairead Dullea who has benefitted from the LGFA's ‘Learn to Lead’ Leadership Programme and become one of the county's most respected female match officials. Picture: Tom Russell - Anois Photgraphy.
Ladies football referee Mairead Dullea who has benefitted from the LGFA's ‘Learn to Lead’ Leadership Programme and become one of the county's most respected female match officials. Picture: Tom Russell - Anois Photgraphy.

Mairead took up refereeing in 2016. She has relished her role both as a referee and a linesperson.

“It can be tough starting out, but like anything you improve with experience. The LGFA are there to support you every step of the way.

“They are very supportive if you want to progress on to national level. The highlight for me to date was refereeing the Junior A county final last year. It was a great game and Donoughmore went all the way to All-Ireland glory. One of the few headaches of being a referee is having to get a team of umpires.

“This is where being a linesperson is a little bit easier. You are appointed by Croke Park so all you need to do is jump in the car.

“It is vital to have more females involved in officiating. In my opinion, it needs to become the norm.”

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