Westmeath’s Alfie Devine has quit inter-county refereeing in frustration at the reduction in games he was assigned to this year.
The 47-year-old Castlepollard clubman joined the Leinster referees’ panel five years ago and went on to take charge of Leinster U21 and Leinster minor hurling finals in 2016 and ’17 respectively as well as numerous Allianz League fixtures. However, the games dried up for him this year, when he also served as Westmeath minor manager, and he’s now decided to walk away from inter-county refereeing.
“I was progressing really well and then all of a sudden, the whole thing stagnated and the games just stopped coming,” he told hoganstand.com.
“I wasn’t happy with just doing linesman or fourth official. I like to be involved in the game. I gave it 100% commitment, but it’s difficult to stayed interested when you’re not getting the games. It’s disheartening, but what can you do? I just decided last week to call it a day. I have other commitments like family and work, and they were factors in my decision also.”
With Mickey Dan Murtagh currently injured, Barry Kelly retired and James McGrath having resigned after being overlooked for this year’s All-Ireland SHC final, Westmeath has no representation on the inter-county hurling panel of referees for the first time in many years.
McGrath has, however, been appointed to handle Sunday’s Leinster club SHC semi-final between Ballyboden St Enda’s and Coolderry.