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'Larry McCarthy Grabbed My Hand And Congratulated Me'

'Larry McCarthy Grabbed My Hand And Congratulated Me'
By PJ Browne
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Maggie Farrelly described as "phenomenal" the messages of support she received before Sunday's Cavan Senior Football Championship final replay.

As Ramor United defeated Gowna by four points, Farrelly made history by becoming the first woman to referee a men's senior county final.

"The amount of text messages, phone calls, emails, to the home house and me personally, [was great]," she told RTÉ Radio 1.

"Not just from Cavan, not just from Laragh, from across Ireland, and from my fellow referees in both men's and ladies football. Their support and best wishes are incredible.

"There were several different guys shaking my hand coming off the pitch. Ronan Bannon, the Gowna goalkeeper, had a nice few words to share there at the end of the game.

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"[GAA president] Larry [McCarthy] grabbed my hand and congratulated me."


14 November 2021; Referee Maggie Farrelly with Ramor United captain Ado Cole, left, and Gowna captain Ryan McGahern before the Cavan Senior Football Championship final replay at Kingspan Breffni in Cavan. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Farrelly said the next step on the ladder for her would be to join the national referees panel.

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"It's not an easy pathway to follow," she said.

"It's not an easy pathway for a male taking up the refereeing role in a club. It's challenging, difficult, and can be off putting with the level of abuse that sometimes you get, not just from spectators.

"If you have the confidence and self-belief, there's no reason why not."

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Featured image: Referee Maggie Farrelly issues a yellow card to Conor Madden, 14, of Gowna during the Cavan Senior Club Football Championship final replay at Kingspan Breffni in Cavan. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

See Also: Two Years After Retirement, Dessie Dolan Makes County Final Comeback

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