Thursday 29 September 2016

'Trail blazer' - History made in Enniskillen as referee Maggie Farrelly takes charge of Ulster tie

Published 01/06/2015 | 12:43

Referee Maggie Farrelly during the Electric Ireland Ulster GAA Football Minor Championship, quarter-final between Fermanagh and Antrim at Brewster Park.
Referee Maggie Farrelly during the Electric Ireland Ulster GAA Football Minor Championship, quarter-final between Fermanagh and Antrim at Brewster Park.

A referee pointed to a bright future for women in sport when she stepped on to the turf at Brewster Park in Enniskillen yesterday.

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Maggie Farrelly became the first woman in GAA history to referee a men's inter-county championship game.

And while her whistle got a good workout, the Co Cavan ref didn't have to issue a single card on her debut in the Fermanagh v Antrim minor tie.

Farrelly was praised for her authority as she took charge of the men and set out her stall as a ref on top of her game.

Sports Minister Caral Ni Chuilin said: "Maggie Farrelly is blazing a trail for women in sport across Ireland and Sunday's match will be the culmination of her years of dedication to Gaelic games.

"Maggie is an inspiration to girls and young women, particularly those working hard to progress in traditionally male-dominated sports like football."

Last season the Cavan woman was the first to officiate a men's senior inter-county match in Croke Park, as a lineswoman for the clash of Kerry and Dublin.

Belfast Telegraph

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