Shortage of referees will place fixtures programme in jeopardy

Covid restrictions are nearing an end and a return to GAA activity is imminent, but for Westmeath GAA, planning a busy schedule of games this summer might well prove difficult for a different reason.

Referees’ Coordinator Sean Sheridan, a former knight of the whistle himself, is finding it next to impossible to recruit new referees and Westmeath GAA will need to take serious steps to avert a crisis, especially in hurling. Barry Kelly and James McGrath both took charge of All-Ireland hurling finals in the not-too-distant past, but it’s not an accurate reflection of the depth of numbers in the county – quite the opposite in fact.

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