Officials in Croke Park have acted quickly and outlawed a new plan that would have put the age limit on top level referees at as low as 35.
Last year the GAA announced that referees would not be allowed work at inter-county level over the age of 50, and under the terms of the new proposal this age limit would have been dropped even further. Considering that many players are still active at inter-county level at 35 and over it would have been an embarrassing situation for the GAA had they adoped the new proposals.
The proposal emerged from the National Referees’ Committee (NRC), but once it came to the attention of Croke Park, it was quickly vetoed by Christy Cooney and Paraic Duffy. The GAA’s management committee agreed that such a move would seriously reduce the intake of referees, especially among those who planned to take it up after retiring from playing.
NRC chairman Michael Curley said that the proposal was designed to encourage counties to recruit referees at a younger age.