Wednesday, November 29, 2023

All-Ireland referee Barry Kelly on the changes in Gaelic Games, the modern game and the new rules

Has seen aspects of some other sports creeping into Gaelic Games

In conversation with Paul O’Donovan

Mullingar man Barry Kelly has refereed at the top, the very top. All-Ireland Hurling final day in the red hot cauldron of Croke Park, it doesn’t get any bigger. Kilkenny against Cork; 80,000 spectators and many hundreds of thousands more watching throughout the world, but only one referee…It’s Barry.

And time has proved there was no better man than Barry Kelly for the big occasion.

Not alone was Barry the man in the middle for one All-Ireland Hurling final, he was referee for four of them – 2006, 2008, 2012 and 2014, as well as taking charge of several Westmeath senior hurling finals.

This week Barry took some time out to talk to Topic, not about the great games and star players he has refereed, but about changes in Gaelic Games, the modern game and how the game has evolved.

Here, Barry gives his views and unique insight into a game he has loved all his life.


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