Monday 20 November 2017

Dublin referee recovering after alleged vicious assault at Under-15 game

Dublin referee recovering after alleged vicious assault at Under-15 game
Dublin referee recovering after alleged vicious assault at Under-15 game

John Fallon

A referee allegedly assaulted by an adult during a schoolboy game on Saturday has called on his Dublin league and the Gardai to take appropriate action against the perpetrator.

Whistler Roy Kavanagh – who officiates every weekend in the biggest league in the country – posted graphic pictures of the injuries he suffered on social media.

According to the victim, he was kicked repeatedly in the stomach whilst going about his business taking charge of an Under-15 fixture in the south-west region of Dublin.

Despite his ordeal, Mr Kavanagh refused to allow it disrupt his schedule of refereeing more underage games today.

The injuries sustained by referee Roy Kavanagh
The injuries sustained by referee Roy Kavanagh

The incident was promptly reported the league with the Gardai set to be involved in processing the case which could end up before the courts.

“Starting to bruise out this morning,” wrote Mr Kavanagh, a member of the Irish Soccer Referee’s Society (ISRS), in a Facebook message yesterday. “It’s sore I have to say. My hand is swollen out from trying to block his kicks and my stomach is really sore. I'm shaken by it - there is no point in saying I'm not.

“I can't believe an adult manager attacked me for no reason at a schoolboy U-15 match that a bunch of 14-year-olds were playing in.

“I never once hit or tried to hit back and still he kept kicking me. I can’t give names because the league and guards (sic) need to deal with this the correct way.”

The injuries sustained by referee Roy Kavanagh
The injuries sustained by referee Roy Kavanagh

Last night, Mr Kavanagh was receiving a flurry of supportive messages from his Referee colleagues, echoing his wish that justice be served in a fair and timely manner.

He admitted this type of incident, not uncommon over the years at amateur level in Ireland, dissuades prospective members from taking up the thankless task.

“All I do is referee because I have passion for the game and this is my only way of being involved in it,” confessed the victim in a passionate address.

“I don't have a car and travel to most games via bus and many times I've walked to and from the like of Terenure and Walkinstown to be there.

“The last thing I expect is to be attacked and assaulted for no reason by a manager other than the fact I am a referee.

“Now I see why so many young lads are reluctant to do this. I just hope the authorities and the league can handle this the right way because nobody should have to put up with what I put with. Thanks again for all the concerns I appreciate it."

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