Referee locked in dressing room at U14's GAA game over fears for his safety
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Referee locked in dressing room at U14's GAA game over fears for his safety

A REFEREE at a GAA game in County Donegal had to be locked in the dressing room after angry reactions from supporters led to concerns over his safety.

The ugly scenes broke out after the referee was confronted by a large group of supporters after the U14 game ended.

The official was ushered to a dressing room where he was told to remain for 20 minutes for his own safety.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast this morning, four time All-Ireland hurling final referee Brian Gavin said he was not surprised when he heard of the incident, and believes they are becoming all too common around the country.

"You wouldn't be a bit shocked at the moment. It's sort of rampant," he said.

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"If it isn't Donegal, it'll be another county and that's the unfortunate part.

"People just think that they can do what they want at GAA matches and they can speak to referees whatever way they want.

"The kids hear this from their managers and selectors and parents, so the thought process of the young lads growing up is they think it's the normal thing to do.

"So it just escalates then.

"It's not just in Donegal, it's in every county, we've just heard about this one in Donegal.

"Some referees in recent years have been struck and there have been assault cases against a lot of people in the GAA."

Gavin feels the GAA has a lot of work to do to get up to the standard set by rugby.

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"You look at rugby and you would be so envious of the way players talk to the referee and how the referees talk to players," he added.

"It's a two-way process. When you are a referee you have to have respect for the players and that's a big issue too.

"It's the one thing we haven't done right in the GAA. Have we done enough to curtail it? I don't think so."

The incident is now being investigated by Donegal GAA.

According to the Donegal Democrat, the game was a Third Division Final between Naomh Brid/Pettigo and Red Hugh’s from Killygordon in Mountcharles, and was won by Naomh Brid/Pettigo with a late goal.

The paper also reports that the referee has included a full account of the whole incident in his report on the game which has been sent to the secretary of the Donegal minor board.