Nugent, Noel

An All-Ireland hurling final umpire on three occasions, Noel was brought up in Mount Temple before moving to Mullingar to work on the railway. He holds the distinction of winning JFC medals with two different clubs - Caulry and Shandonagh in 1969 and '79 respectively.

He instilled his love for the GAA in his son, also Noel, who played hurling with St. Oliver Plunkett's and football with Mullingar Shamrocks, and his daughter, Sandra, who coached camogie with Plunkett's.

Noel, however, was best known as an umpire for top hurling referee Barry Kelly. Along with Barry and his fellow umpires Seamus O'Brien, Anthony Gavin and Michael Coyle, all of the St. Oliver Plunkett's club, Noel officiated at many of the biggest hurling games of the past decade, including the 2006, 2008 and 2012 All-Ireland senior finals. He loved being part of the big occasion and was hugely respected among his peers.

The Dalton Park resident also umpired football fixtures which Barry refereed. One of these was the 2008 Westmeath SFC final between Castledaly and Garrycastle. He also umpired for long-serving Mullingar Shamrocks referee Terry O'Dowd on a number of occasions.

It was no surprise to see his friends from the world of refereeing and umpiring provide a guard of honour at his removal last July, which was a fitting tribute to the popular match official.

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