Leinster Match Program Article 1

After another busy season in Leinster, the summer break was a welcome relief for all. At the end of last season Conor Byrne was elected President of the Leinster Rugby Referees taking over from David MacDonald.  Conor addressed the referees AGM after his election saying :

“I am indeed extremely honoured to be elected President of the Association of Referees Leinster Branch for the 2017/18 season an Association that has been an integral part of my life over many years.  Ours is an Association that is held in high esteem both far and wide and one which has and continues to make an extraordinary contribution to the very fabric of our sport.

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Annual Seminar 2017

There was a great turn out of 166 referees, assessors and others at this years annual seminar, kicking off the 2017/18 season. Pictured below are Leinster Rugby President Niall Rynne, Leinster Rugby Referees President Conor Byrne and Old Wesley President Paul Short.

Many thanks to Old Wesley for their facilities and to all our presenters on the morning.


Presidents Address – Conor Byrne

I am indeed extremely honoured to be elected President of the Association of Referees Leinster Branch for the 2017/18 season an Association that has been an integral part of my life over many years.  Ours is an Association that is held in high esteem both far and wide and one which has and continues to make an extraordinary contribution to the very fabric of our sport.

We are an Association that sets high standards for ourselves and expect our membership to act as ambassadors of our Association with behaviour that is consistent with the rugby core values of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect. These are values that I know all of us hold dear to our heart and ones which I will strive to both maintain and nurture during my tenure. One could only be but extremely proud to be President of such an Association.

As with my predecessor David MacDonald I too have inherited an extremely vibrant, motivated and forward-thinking Association and one which is averse to sitting on its laurels. Our Five Year Strategic Plan [2016-2020], the implementation of which through the stewardship of both Wayne Sheridan and David MacDonald is well underway, is an example of same.

I with the invaluable assistance and stewardship of our very strong Executive Committee and the exemplary work of our Standing Committees who cover Management, Rugby, Finance and Administration as well as the tremendous contributions from all our Area Representatives would aim to build upon progress made to date.

Further to this and in line with our Strategic Plan we will strive towards both resourcing and delivering upon an even more stream-lined and effective management of our invaluable referee resource throughout the grades and a continued and enhanced focus upon recruitment and retention and the critical ‘Cradle to Grave’ principle and the continued development of our club identity.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our members the very best for the 2017-18 season, wherever you officiate and in whatever capacity, and hope that you will continue to enjoy your participation, as well as being true ambassadors for the ARLB.

Conor Byrne


Leinster Match Program – Article 14

Welcome to another high quality edition of referees corner. If you have missed any issue, they are all available on our website www.arlb.ie. Croeso and Pob Iwc! to Nigel Owens  and his Welsh Rugby Union colleagues Ian Davies and TMO Jonathon Mason and a hearty Bonjour to our good friend Romain Poite of the Fédération Française de Rugby.

We hope you have an enjoyable afternoon gentlemen and manage to get the game finished on 80 minutes with all ball boys on the field. Of course congratulations to Romain, will referee the third and final Test match between the Lions and New Zealand this summer.

Well done also to Helen O’Reilly refereed Italy v France in the Women’s Six Nations a couple of weeks ago.

Schools Rugby

The dust has settled on the Bank of Ireland sponsored Leinster Schools Senior and Junior Cups. Well done to Belvedere College on a great win in the Senior Cup. We are awaiting the replay of the Junior Cup at time of writing following the excellent 7-7 draw in the first final. Of course these great finals could not have happened without some great refereeing. There was a team of six involved in the Senior Cup Final in the RDS. Congratulations to Paul Haycock on a fine game and a well-deserved appointment. Paul was assisted by Barry O’Keeffe and David Williams, Barry Armstrong and Jonathon Geoghegan , John Carvill was in the TMO box . For the Junior Cup final Brian MacNeice was in the middle for an enthralling fixture played in difficult conditions.

Continue reading Leinster Match Program – Article 14

Conor Byrne elected as President of ARLB

Congratulations to Conor Byrne who has been elected as President of the Association of Referees Leinster Branch for the 2017/2018 season.








Bryan O’Neill was elected as Senior Vice President and Norman Carter elected as Junior Vice President.

Leinster Match Program – Article 13


Firstly good luck to our extensive team of 6 at the SCT Challenge Cup Final. Referee: Paul Haycock, Sub Referee: Barry O’Keeffe, Touch Judge: David Williams, No.4 : Barry Armstrong, No.5: Jonathon Geoghegan and TMO: John Carvill – at time of writing the game has yet to be played, but I am sure an great day will be had by all.

Annual Dinner

We regard our Annual Dinner as one of the main highlights of our year.  It is a celebration of  the 2016/17 season that, so far at least, has been highly successful for the ARLB.  That success is entirely due to our referees efforts, both on and off the pitch.  The Dinner is also where we get to meet up with the other members of OUR club and renew friendships that  are otherwise not easy to maintain.  We will also honour 3 deserving members of our Association with Awards.

This year, the Dinner  is taking place on Saturday April 1st, in Lansdowne FC, just a few hours after we watch Leinster play Wasps in the Quarter Final of the ERCC.  Amongst others, we will be joined by the President of the IRFU, former International Referee Stephen Hilditch, who is also an excellent speaker.  “Legendary” rugby player Ross O’Carroll Kelly will reply to the toast on behalf of the guests, which should be interesting!

On the night our annual awards are handed out. There are four main awards, one for lifetime achievement – the Ham Lambert Award (2015/16 Brendan Jenkinson  2014/15 Tony De Lacy, 2013/14 Brendan Lynch, 2012/13 Tom Aplin, 2011/12 Des McCabe, 2010/11 Des Flanagan, 2009/10 Declan McIlraith, 2008/09 Ned Cummins, 2007/08 David Bell, 2006/07 Joe O’Connor), one for referee of the year – the Harold Ardill Award (2015/16 Brendan Conroy 2014/15 Paddy Curran, 2013/14 Gary Conway, 2012/13 Barry Armstrong, 2011/12 Dan Wallace, 2010/11 David Bolger, 2009/10 Brendan McGovern, 2008/09 Tony Duncan, 2007/08 Kevin Laide, 2006/07 Stephen Kennedy, 2005/06 Norman Carter), one for Referee Performance of the Year – the Alain Rolland Award which was introduced last year (2015/16 Dermot Blake 2014/15 Helen O’Reilly ) and one for club of the year – the Terry Doyle Memorial Award (2015/16 Terenure College2014/15 St Mary’s College RFC, 2013/14 Lansdowne FC, 2012/13 Ashbourne RFC, 2011/12 Skerries RFC, 2010/11 Edenderry RFC, 2009/10 Malahide RFC, 2008/09 Ashbourne RFC, 2007/08 UCD RFC, 2006/07 Greystones RFC, 2005/06 Boyne RFC).

Scrum Down

From the beginning of this season an amendment to Law 8.3 has been in place which allows referees to play advantage at collapsed scrums, or when players have been forced upwards out of the scrum.  This law amendment is for the professional game only and does not apply in the domestic game. Referees in these matches, at all levels up to and including Ulster Bank League, should be applying Laws 20.3 (h) & (i), and should blow immediately if a scrum collapses or a player lifted upwards is forced upwards out of the scrum.

Tag Rugby

Well the 2017 Tag season is on the horizon and despite us still being in the throes of the Six Nations, the tag referee workshops have started with the first one being held in Belfast. Below is a list of the venue dates. The first venue open is Swords on 5th April and then Lansdowne on 12th April for their Spring league


Kevin Beggs would like to invite anyone interested in refereeing tag to get in contact with him at Kevin.Beggs@irfu.ie

There are a few law alterations this season which everyone needs to know about. There are also some tournaments coming up in the weeks ahead and it is important that all referees are fully conversant with the changes so that everyone is on the same page when making decisions.

Do you think you have you got what it takes to be a referee? The Leinster Referees always need more referees and opting to become one may be the best decision you’ve made for a long time. Feel free to make contact with the Leinster Rugby Referees at denis.collins@leinsterrugby.ie or contact by phone Denis Collins at 01-2235107 or David O’Brien at david.obrien@irfu.ie

If you are interested in becoming a referee get in contact with us through our facebook page, our website www.arlb.ie or through twitter @leinsterreferee.




New Recruits 2016/17 Season

Many congratulations to the following referees who passed their trials this year and were elected as full members of the ARLB.

  1. Paul Bosco Karugendo
  2. Phil Tran
  3. Matthew O’Driscoll
  4. Jack Halpin
  5. Joe Lyons
  6. Conor Power
  7. Nial O’Higgins
  8. David Neiland
  9. John O’Mahony
  10. Denis Brennan
  11. Paul Cullen
  12. John Cosgrove
  13. Shane Collins
  14. Calumn Povey
  15. Kenneth Dean
  16. Cian Ormond
  1. Colm Horton , Com. Ref
  2. Graham Hulsman , Com Ref