This article appeared in the Connacht match program
It was with great sadness that the Leinster Rugby Referee community learnt of the passing of Gerry Maher, our esteemed member and former President on the weekend of October 12th. To his wife Ann, his children, his mother and all his relatives and friends, on behalf of the Association of Referees, Leinster Branch, IRFU, we extend our sincere sympathy at this very sad time.
As a long-standing member, Gerry served our Association with distinction, at all levels and in a wide variety of roles, as Referee, Assessor, Administrator and facilitator of our Annual Seminars – a role in which we all came to admire his great wit and humour, not forgetting his ability to guide us through them in a timely manner.
Gerry’s interest in Rugby expanded into refereeing whilst teaching at Cistercian College Roscrea, and he became one of Leinster’s top men in the middle. He took charge of schools’, club and provincial matches and even refereed in the Heineken Cup in France. He was in charge of Schools’ Senior and Junior Cup Finals in his time and was a well known Referees’ Assessor right up to international level. He was one of only 3 IRB accredited match official trainers in the island of Ireland and has served as President of the Leinster Branch Referees’ Association in 2004/05. Gerry worked with trainee rugby referees and delivered referee courses internationally in such diverse places as Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and Bosnia Herzegovina. He was also in charge of the committee that selects referees for the Schools’ Cup games.
Our Association has been enriched by his wisdom and the service he gave it and he will be greatly missed.
Referees in Europe
With the Heineken European Cup back in full swing our referees have be trotting around Europe. Dudley Philips took charge of Treviso and Montpellier and Brive versus Newcastle Falcons he was ably assisted by Eanna O’Dowd on the line and Kevin Beggs upstairs in Round 1 and John Carvill and Alan Rogan in Round 2. Paul Haycock, Gary Conway, Brian MacNeice and Nigel Correll were also assisting colleagues in both rounds. Alain Rolland took charge of the Saints versus the Ospreys in Round 2. This was a step down in class for Alain from the previous week where he refereed Newbridge against Tullow in the Leinster League, as part of his recent injury recovery. This was a great experience for all involved, particularly both touch judges and the players themselves.
Last September we ran another well attended recruits course. Our recruits are hitting a pitch near you over the next week or so, starting their journey into a refereeing career. Perhaps the next Alain Rolland or Dudley Philips is amongst them. Please welcome Stephen Troy (Belvedere), Andrew Cole (Wesley), Mark Strong (Wesley), Greg Kelly (Unidare), Craig Tait, Trevor Culbert, Hugh Early (Skerries), Morgan Shelley (UCD), Benjamin McCurtin (Barnhall), Gareth Russell (Mullingar), Declan Conlon (Longford), Jerry Clarke, Dermot Hughes (Garda), Shane Collins (Seapoint), Rory O’Keeffe (Ratoath), James Quinn (Clongowes) to the Leinster Rugby Referees.
Keep in contact with us over the season – we have a duty ref to answer all your referee related questions – firstname.lastname@example.org or we can be followed on Facebook or twitter @leinstereferee or our website www.arlb.ie