Wednesday 21 March 2018

Maggie Farrelly to become first woman to officiate at a male inter-county game in Croke Park

Referee Maggie Farrelly sporting the ref-cam
Referee Maggie Farrelly sporting the ref-cam

Cavan woman Maggie Farrelly will make history tomorrow evening when she officiates at the Dublin- Kerry NFL clash under the lights in Croke Park.

Farrelly has been chosen to act as a sideline official as All-Ireland champions Dublin begin the defence of their National League Division One title becoming the first woman to officiate at a game at GAA headquarters.

“A few days ago I got a message to ask was I available for this game and I just couldn’t believe it,” Farrelly says in an interview with

“I was in complete awe that I was going to be officiating at a Dublin-Kerry game.

“It’s a great honour and something that you can only dream about, especially because the game is in Croke Park of all places. It’s such a special place for GAA people."

She has been refereeing male club games in Cavan since 2006 when her club, Laragh United, asked her if she would be interested.

“I didn’t read too much into it at the time and was just happy for my name to go forward to help out the club in any way I could,” says Farrelly. “I never anticipated that I would come this far in such a short space of time. Honestly, at the time it was a simple case of doing something to help out the club.”

Farrelly accepts that her presence on the sideline at Croke Park may be viewed as a siginificant moment and she is taking everything in her stride.

“I recognise and understand that my presence on Saturday night, or at any other inter-county game, is something new to the GAA and may be seen as a landmark,” she added.

“I think my appointment demonstrates the inclusiveness of the GAA as a whole. They believe in my ability and provide the opportunities and it’s up to me to take them on and fulfill my duties to the best of my ability."

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