*Paudie Hayes. Photograph: Natasha Barton

NEWMARKET-ON-FERGUS referee Paudie Hayes has been selected on the League of Ireland panel.

Hayes’ performance in the School of Excellence programme resulted in his addition to the panel. He first began refereeing in 2019.

He becomes the first Clare referee since Padraigh Sutton and Rob Hennessy to be added to the refereeing ranks in the League of Ireland. Hayes will now be officiating games in the U19 League of Ireland and Women’s National League with hopes he will continue to progress up the ranks to the LOI First Division.

In February, Paudie was the man in the middle for the FAI Youths Inter-League Cup final, his first time officiating the decider which was won by Cork. Last August, he took charge of the FAI Women’s U17 Cup final when Salthill Devon edged out Claremorris on penalties. In November, he took charge of the meeting between Northern Ireland and Wales in the U16 Victory Shield, a tie that took place in Villa Park, Waterford.

As a player, Hayes was heavily involved with Newmarket Celtic at all levels. He spent two years as coach to the A team as well as lining out for both the A and B teams within the club for many seasons winning Cup and League titles along the way.

This season, he took charge of the Ennis Carpets Clare Cup Final for the first time. Avenue Utd overcame Lifford FC 2-0 in the encounter which took place at the end of May. He will continue to take charge of matches in the CDSL.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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