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Ex-St. Patrick’s clubman thriving as referee

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Caymon Flynn during the Leinster Minor hurling championship final between Offaly and Laois.

Caymon Flynn during the Leinster Minor hurling championship final between Offaly and Laois.

Caymon Flynn during the Leinster Minor hurling championship final between Offaly and Laois.

wexfordpeople

A NATIVE of Wexford has continued his impressive progress as a hurling referee with his appointment to take charge of three important finals in recent months.

Caymon Flynn, formerly of the St. Patrick’s (Ballyoughter) club, is rapidly making a name for himself as a knight of the whistle and was widely praised for his handling of the recent Leinster Minor championship final that involved the novel pairing of Offaly and Laois in a packed MW Hire O’Moore Park, Portlaoise.

Flynn began his refereeing career thousands of miles from home, during a stint working as a teacher in Abu Dhabi. He also played hurling with the Al Ain club and the Middle East region at the time, with his team-mates with the latter squad including Michael Redmond (Rathnure), Terry Kehoe (Cloughbawn) and Shane Rackard (Duffry Rovers).

Caymon has been living and working in Westmeath since 2015, and he took charge of his first Senior hurling game in his adopted county in 2019.

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He also handled a drawn Intermediate final between Raharney and Cullion in the same year, before refereeing the 2020 Senior decider featuring Clonkill and Castletown Geoghegan.

By that stage he had graduated to the support panel for Croke Park and Leinster Council, officiating as linesman and fourth official for many top-flight Allianz Hurling League fixtures.

His first refereeing assignment at inter-county level was an early-season tournament meeting between Kildare and Down at the start of 2020, and he is in heavy demand at this stage.

Already this year, he took charge of Allianz League Division 2 and 3 games in James Stephens Park in Ballina, Markievicz Park in Sligo, McGovern Park in Ruislip, Kingspan Breffni in Cavan, and O’Connor Park in Tullamore, culminating in the Division 3A final clash of Tyrone and Armagh in Owenbeg, Co. Derry.

He was also on duty when the lower-tier championships started, refereeing the Christy Ring Cup games between Mayo and Kildare in Ballina, and Sligo versus Derry in Markievicz Park.

An assignment in the Nickey Rackard Cup brought Flynn to Páirc na hÉireann in Birmingham where Warwickshire hosted Donegal, and one week later he was in Ballinamore to take charge of the Lory Meagher Cup meeting of Leitrim and Louth.

A memorable six days followed last month, starting on a Monday evening in a thronged MW Hire O’Moore Park when Offaly defeated Laois to capture the Leinster Minor title for the first time since 2000.

That appointment arrived three years after he refereed his first Leinster championship game – also in the Minor grade, when Kilkenny faced Offaly.

After playing his part on that historic night in Portlaoise, just six days later Flynn – who joined the national panel of referees in March 2021 – had the honour of handling a final in Croke Park.

That was the Lory Meagher Cup decider when a Louth side featuring former Faythe Harriers and Sarsfields player Jamie McDonnell at left half-back defeated Longford.

The St. Loman’s clubman also refereed the 2021 Leinster Club Junior hurling final between Mooncoin (Kilkenny) and Shamrocks (Offaly), along with various games in the Walsh Cup, Richie McElligott Cup and Leinster Under-20 championship.

His regular umpires are Paul Reville, Richie Heffernan, David Clune and Ken Gunning, while one of the linesmen assisting him at the Leinster Minor final was Rapparees club stalwart Eamonn Furlong.

Eamonn, a new recruit to the inter-county panel in Leinster, refereed the Minor clash of Laois and Kildare earlier in the campaign.


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