Leinster Branch seek positive end to ref row
THE Leinster Branch are to discuss procedures for disciplinary hearings with the Association of Referees of the Leinster Branch (ARLB) after the ARLB announced that their members are being advised not to attend hearings until they are satisfied with the process and are legally represented.
The ARLB took that decision following a meeting of their Executive Committee on Thursday in the wake of the recent disciplinary hearing regarding the dismissal of a Clongowes player in their School Cup semi-final victory over St Mary's on February 28th.
The player was cleared to play in the final against St Michael's on St Patrick's Day and the ARLB have expressed their dissatisfaction with the disciplinary process which saw six people sit on the committee instead of the usual four.
"The referees are not happy with the current disciplinary procedures followed by the Leinster Branch and we have asked a few points to be considered," the referees said in their statement.
"Firstly, the number of people sitting on committees must be reduced. While we are not disappointed with the result that came from the disciplinary hearing and we have to respect that result, we have a problem with the procedures that are laid down by the Leinster Branch.
"The referee can only be examined by the chairman of the committee and that didn't happen. In future, if an official is to attend a disciplinary hearing, they will be legally represented."
However, a Leinster Branch spokesman confirmed that discussions are taking place between the branch and the referees and believes that procedural changes can be introduced to everybody's benefit.
"We are in discussions with the ARLB to resolve this issue with a view to clarifying procedures and we are extremely confident these discussions will have a positive outcome," said the Leinster spokesman.
"We have the utmost respect for the ARLB and the work they do from the top echelons of the game, where Alain Rolland and Alan Lewis are world-class referees, right down to youths and schools rugby. It can be a thankless task for referees but the ARLB have a hugely important function for rugby in Leinster."