Update: Standoff between Cork referees' branch and Carrigaline United continues

Incident in a recent youth game has led to the Irish Soccer Referees' Society withdrawing their services at Ballea Park
Update: Standoff between Cork referees' branch and Carrigaline United continues

Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

THE dispute between the Cork Branch of the Irish Soccer Referees’ Society and Carrigaline United shows no sign of abating.

The Cork ISRS has given a list of recommendations to the Munster Football Association as they look to resolve an ongoing ban on members covering matches at Ballea Park while the club has addressed the issue on social media and criticised the latest development.

A directive was sent out to members last week that because of abuse to an official covering a youths match that was abandoned, they were withdrawing their services at Carrigaline's home pitch. The Gardai confirmed to The Echo they are looking into a public order incident that occurred at Ballea Park on February 25.

Carrigaline United responded to this with a notice to club members last Friday saying that CCTV footage exists of the incident, challenging the Cork Branch of the ISRS' views, while also stating they will work with the relevant parties to help this investigation.

The recommendations put forward by the Cork Branch come from their monthly meeting that was held this week with over 75 members in attendance.

They said that the best way to ensure matches are held at Ballea Park was to contact the Munster Football Association to come up with a resolution on their terms.

The refereeing body explained: "We the committee have decided the best way forward to ensure that our members can return safely to officiating matches in Ballea Park, Carrigaline was to reach out to the Munster Football Association." 

Their suggestions included that no night matches are held at Ballea Park, that there is reserved parking near the changing rooms for all officials, and that Carrigaline stewards are on hand to escort officials off the pitch at half-time and full-time and to their car after the match.

The Cork branch of the ISRS has urged the Munster Football Association to agree to their views.

We as a committee hope you will support us in ensuring the safety of our members while trying to get matches in Ballea Park resumed as soon as possible.

"Any future agreements must be agreed by all, in written form and must be for the long term. Until then our directive to our members in all leagues in Cork still stands: All members of the ISRS Cork Branch are NOT to officiate Carrigaline United matches at Ballea Park, in all leagues and competitions until FURTHER NOTICE.”


Carriagline United posted an update to their members on Facebook where they explained underage games would go ahead with non-ISRS refs and hit out at the public nature of the dispute.

"By way of update and we will start with some good news. The respective underage and youth leagues have seen fit to appoint non ISRS members to officiate fixtures at Ballea Park this weekend and we are proud to welcome back football as a result. I’ve no doubt you will all show your appreciation for the non ISRS officials this weekend.

"We are continuing to work to see the return of adult football. 

We have this week written to the CEO of the FAI seeking their immediate assistance in resolving this matter including an immediate revoking of the ban and a full investigation into the actions of the Cork ISRS."

They also hit out at the ISRS suggestion they would no longer stage games under floodlights.

"We are very proud of our facilities and have invested heavily in them over the years. This now blatant attempt to ban night time games in one of the only venues capable of hosting them in accordance with the highest of standards of lighting and pitch maintenance seems ludicrous. League representative sides are only too happy to use these facilities weekly to conduct games."

The Echo has also contacted the Munster Football Association for their views on this development.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130


Read all about the monthly winner’s and more.
Click Here


Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more