Refereeing is a labour of love for Basil Cronin, who first took up the whistle in 2004. While Tubber has been Basil’s GAA club since 2000, he hails from nearby Clara which has a long and proud refereeing tradition. It’s not surprising then to hear that two of Clara’s most famous whistlers, Carthage ‘Catch’ Buckley and Brian Gavin, had a big influence on him.
“I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Clara has and continues to produce a lot of referees when you have two men like Catch and Brian there,” he says.
“They gave me great encouragement and advice when I was starting out, which has stood me in good stead. Noel Cooney and the late Eddie Dunne were also a great support to me.”
It would be fair to say that Basil was a latecomer to the GAA. “I didn’t really get into it until I was about 20,” the now 46-year-old reveals.