The annual dinner of the Leinster Rugby Referees is the highlight of our somewhat limited social calendar and is always a great event. This year it took place in Wanderers FC on Saturday April 16th was hosted by Leinster Rugby Referees President Wayne Sheridan of Old Wesley RFC. A large gathering of provincial presidents, referees, assessor’s guests and friends attended the evening which was organised by the Referees Administration committee under Simon Owens which was attended by IRFU President Martin O’Sullivan and Leinster Rugby President Robert McDermott .
On the night our much anticipated annual awards are handed out. There are four main awards, one for lifetime achievement, one for referee of the year, another for refereeing performance of the year and one for club of the year. The lifetime achievement award is named after Ham Lambert who passed away a few years ago. Ham was an Irish cricketer, rugby union player and later international rugby referee. By profession a veterinary surgeon, he was noted for being the first in Ireland to own a practice devoted to the care of companion animals. This year’s winner was Brendan Jenkinson of Terenure College RFC. Brendan, a former referee, assessor and President of the Leinster Rugby Referees, has devoted a number of years to the association. Brendan follows a long line of winners including Tom Aplin, Des McCabe, Des Flanagan, Declan McIllraith, Ned Cummins, David Bell and Brendan Lynch to name a few.
The award for referee of the year is named after Harold ‘Harry’ Ardill. Harry was instrumental in developing, recruiting and educating referees within Leinster. The referee of the year award accounts for both on field and off field efforts and contribution to the association. This year’s winner was Brendan Conroy from Athy RFC. Brendan was the North Midlands Area Representative over two stints. He stepped down this year at their recent AGM. Brendan is and has always been a proud Athy man and has brought great honour to the club in his role. In a demanding role which Brendan accomplished with what seemed great ease, for example, this year so far Brendan has appointed 96% of all requested games this equates to 486 matches of which Brendan refereed 35 games himself. Brendan follows a long line of winners including Gary Conway, Barry Armstrong, Dan Wallace, David Bolger, Brendan McGovern, Tony Duncan and Stephen Kennedy.
The Club of the Year award is named after Terry Doyle, former President of the association. The award was named after Terry in 2011 and the first recipients were Edenderry RFC. This year’s recipients of the Terry Doyle Memorial Award were Terenure College RFC, coincidentally Terry’s own club. In a tightly fought contest they came out above UCD (2), and Clontarf (3). Other winners of this award include Lansdowne, Ashbourne, Skerries, Edenderry, Malahide and UCD. Terenure have been there or there abouts in voting for the last number of seasons and have put a huge club effort into regenerating the club and its facilities and thoroughly deserve their win.
The final award that is handed out is the Alain Rolland Referee Performance of the Year which was won last year by Helen O’Reilly. This years winner has not been announced as the referee was not in attendance*. So if you attended the dinner, you have not won. Thus ends another year of referee fun and games and another great dinner. If you are from Terenure College RFC or your name is Brendan you luck was in. With only a few weeks left in the season we are immensely proud of the work that has been put in by referees at all level this season and look forward to moving onwards in the 2015/16 season.
*Awarded to Dermot Blake
Do you think you have you got what it takes to be a referee? The Leinster Referees always need more referees and opting to become one may be the best decision you’ve made for a long time. Feel free to make contact with the Leinster Rugby Referees at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact by phone Denis Collins at 01-2235107 or David O’Brien at email@example.com
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