Gaelic games referees in Kilkenny are understood to have withdrawn their services from all competitions this bank holiday weekend following concerns over abuse of match officials.
Gardaí confirmed to KCLR on Thursday that enquiries were underway following reports of a referee in the county receiving an anonymous letter suggesting threats to them and their family in the wake of an underage fixture earlier this month. You can find more details here.
Following a meeting between referees and the Kilkenny GAA county board last night (Thursday), a decision was taken by match officials to withdraw their services to all games in the county from Friday to Monday inclusive.
Kilkenny GAA have confirmed to KCLR and Scoreline (today, Friday) that all clubs were informed that fixtures have been postponed today through Monday.
These include the opening rounds of the senior intermediate hurling league, the remaining games in rounds five and upcoming games in round six of the minor hurling league, this weekend’s senior football championship quarter-finals, under 15 football féile fixtures and all camogie fixtures including the all-county league and challenge matches with camogie officials joining their hurling and football colleagues in solidarity.
Details on rearrangements for games will be made in due course.
Referees in Roscommon last September staged a weekend strike following the alleged assault of a referee following an underage fixture in the county.
Statement from Kilkenny GAA
“Kilkenny Co Board has been informed that its referees are withdrawing their services this weekend (Friday to Monday inclusive) to highlight incidents of abuse directed at match officials in recent times.”
“Kilkenny GAA does not condone any abusive behaviour and fully supports the GAA ethos of respecting our match officials. Our match officials are integral to the provision of games and all members of the GAA family, players, mentors, and supporters must acknowledge and respect this going forward.”
“Kilkenny GAA will not be issuing any further comment at this time.”