It is a great honour and privilege to the President of the Association of Referees Leinster Branch for the season 2018/19 and also that I am the 100th person to have the honour of being President.
I joined the Association in September 1978 after a 15 year rugby playing career with Lansdowne. I had 14 very enjoyable years with the whistle travelling the length and breadth of the province and also fortunate to referee abroad in England, United States and Canada, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.
Having been guided and encouraged by assessors and administrators while blowing the whistle and having got a huge amount of enjoyment at the same time I felt that it was important that I should attempt to pass on my experiences to the next generation of referees
I believe that the ARLB’s referee education process is second to none with regular seminars, workshops, monthly meetings all organised by a dedicated committed group of members. I also believe that if someone joining the Association shows the same commitment there is no reason why he/she should not get to the top of the tree.
I am very confident that the Association is in a position to meet all new, serious and interesting challenges with the necessary innovative planning to ensure its continuing success.
Referee abuse has become a problem of late and I believe severely restricts our ability to attract potential referees and unless it is eradicated will eventually destroy the game we love. The Association will back any referee to the hilt who reports abuse.
Have a great season.
Bryan O’ Neill