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First Irish Female International Referee

First Irish Female International Referee

Aoife McCarthy has made Irish rugby history by becoming the first Irish female international referee.

 McCarthy has been appointed to referee in the upcoming FIRA-AER European Women’s Tournament which takes place in Belgium from April 5th – 15th.   

Aoife McCarthy, a school teacher from Dublin, is a member of the Association of Referees, Leinster Branch I.R.F.U. and has been refereeing for two years.  She has taken to the task extremely well and has received rave reviews from all quarters for her performances to date. 

The former Blackrock RFC flanker comes from an experienced playing background and has represented Leinster 18 times at interprovincial level.  She has also played for the Kuwait National Women’s team in various competitions across the United Arab Emirates, including winning the Women’s Tournament in the International Dubai 7’s in which she hopes to referee some day. 

Aoife began her refereeing career in the Tag Rugby competitions and it was from there that she developed to the 15-a-side Union game through the IRFU refereeing pathway. 

Aoife McCarthy said, “It is a privilege and an honour to represent Ireland as the first female international referee.  I found refereeing games was quite daunting at the start of my career, but with the assistance of the I.R.F.U. through the programme of workshops and clinics available to me, I have developed as a referee and my confidence on the pitch has improved immensely.  I hope to see more women take up the whistle in the future as there are huge opportunities for female referees in what is a hugely enjoyable and rewarding hobby.” 

I.R.F.U. Referee Development Officer David Keane said, “We are delighted that we were in the position to nominate Aoife to this tournament.  She has been refereeing very well and has all the qualities required to control a game at this level.  She has a great future in the game and we hope that her appointment opens the way for more women to come into refereeing.  We wish her luck in this tournament and we are sure she will represent the I.R.F.U. with great distinction.”

For more information on refereeing click here.

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