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McGann to hit the road as referees run the country in aid of Pieta House

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*Rory McGann with Kevin Corry & Andy McMahon. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography

A Clare referee is among those partaking in a national relay from GAA officials raising funds for Pieta House.

Rory McGann of Newmarket-on-Fergus and Sixmilebridge native Sean Stack are among the 72 referees on the GAA’s national panel that will each be running 11.2km which is what is said to be the typical distance clocked up by the men in the middle during senior inter-county ties.

Throughout Saturday (May 9th) the referees are aiming to complete “a virtual All-Ireland championship run” starting at Wexford Park onto Páirc Uí Chaoimh to MacCumhaill Park and finishing in Croke Park. It totals a round trip of 810km.

Referees will be posting on Twitter under #RefereesRunForPietaHouse where they will post a selfie after finishing their run.

Speaking to The Clare Echo, McGann outlined, “We felt it important as a National Referee Panel to share a sense of community and solidarity with anyone impacted by suicide. While many people will get up at 5:30am on 9th May for the #DILSunriseAppeal, it was decided that referees would commit to something a little more strenuous, with each referee assigned to run 11.2km approximately”.

Such an effort will also help referees stay reasonably fit, he added. “The current uncertainties has meant that it is difficult to predict when we might see a return to the cut and thrust of training so events such as this are also a good way for referees to keep active as a collective, albeit from a distance, while also raising some much needed funds for a great cause”.

It also coincides with what was supposed to the start of the inter-county championship and the Mary Immaculate College lecturer quipped, “It’s no harm to get referees moving and away from the fridge”.

Click below to support the fundraiser.


Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, and A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to -

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