All-Ireland hurling final referee Fergal Horgan quits over lack of games

Tipperary referee also claims Munster officials are being overlooked for matches

Three-time All-Ireland senior hurling final referee Fergal Horgan has quit officiating, citing a lack of game appointments while also claiming Munster officials are being overlooked for matches.

The Tipperary native says he is disappointed with how he has been treated by Croke Park and insists there will be no change of heart on his behalf.

Horgan was the man in the middle for the 2017, 2020 and 2021 All-Ireland finals. But his most recent senior intercounty appointment was the Division One meeting of Waterford and Antrim at the end of February, one of only two matches he refereed during the league.

Explaining his decision to Tipp Mid West radio on Tuesday, Horgan stated: “Mainly the first thing is due to lack of appointments over the last two or three years.


“It’s disappointing I suppose from my point of view that I’ve worked hard over the last few years and haven’t got the appointments from Croke Park that I thought I should have got.”

Horgan claims there have been some recent refereeing appointments where the chosen official has failed a fitness test in advance, while he is also of the opinion Munster referees are being excluded from many of the top matches.

“We feel we are not getting a fair crack of the whip in Munster,” he added.

“Look, no one has a right to get any match I suppose, but in light of the last two or three weeks we’ve seen referees that got appointments that didn’t pass the fitness test, and that’s not going down well with referees.

“I know for a fact a lot of referees in football and hurling are not happy with the way things are going at the moment, and I can see why.”

Horgan says he has received no contact from Croke Park since informing them of his decision to step away and adds there will be no going back.

“Absolutely not, I’m 100 per cent finished,” he said. “I’m at ease now. I got no contact from Croke Park the last two weeks and that just shows me where I stand in their community.

“I did love refereeing when I was doing it but I’d say it again, I couldn’t see why anyone would take up refereeing, unfortunately. And I would certainly say to anyone that asked me, ‘no, definitely not’. Because at the top level you get no support.

“I’m disappointed with the way I was treated and I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody.”

Gordon Manning

Gordon Manning

Gordon Manning is a sports journalist, specialising in Gaelic games, with The Irish Times