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28th Apr 2023

Referees refuse to officiate in Kilkenny this weekend due to ongoing abuse

Lee Costello


“Kilkenny Co Board has been informed that its referees are withdrawing their services this weekend.”

It is understood that referees in Kilkenny have refused to officiate any matched this weekend, in an attempt to combat ongoing abuse.

This is in reaction to an abusive letter that was sent to a referee who had taken charge of a minor hurling match.

The letter laid bare a detailed description of incidents in the match, criticisms, and was written with threatening connotations that have angered the match officials.

The referees met in Langton’s last night and will not make themselves available for duties until Tuesday at the earliest.


In a statement released by the county board, Kilkenny GAA have said that they support their referees, and are against any abuse directed towards them.

“Kilkenny Co Board has been informed that its referees are withdrawing their services this weekend (Friday to Monday inclusive) to highlight incidents of abuse directed at match officials in recent times.

“Kilkenny GAA does not condone any abusive behaviour and fully supports the GAA ethos of respecting our match officials.¬† Our match officials are integral to the provision of games and all members of the GAA family, players, mentors, and supporters must acknowledge and respect this going forward.


“Kilkenny GAA will not be issuing any further comment at this time.”

The Leinster county are not the only organisation who have boycotted games to raise awareness against abuse towards referees.

Wexford recently held a similar protest, and it looks like games in the future will continue to be postponed if the abuse does not stop.

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