*Joe Mullins. Photograph: John Mangan
After a one year absence, Joe Mullins has returned to the refereeing ranks in Clare.
Clonlara’s Mullins officiated his first championship game in a year two weeks ago as Sixmilebridge narrowly edged past the challenge of Tulla in the U21A hurling quarter-finals.
A member of the provincial referees panel, Joe is regarded as one of the more promising whistlers in the Banner County. He has resumed his place on the Munster panel and will be in line to officiate at inter-county games when the season resumes.
From Galway, Joe refereed his first Munster MHC tie in May 2018 and was in charge of the 2019 Clare IHC final. He did not officiate in any championship encounters last year on account of work commitments.
Rory McGann of Newmarket-on-Fergus is the only Clare representative on the referees National hurling panel with Mullins joined on the Munster hurling panel and Niall Quinn of St Josephs Miltown and Wolfe Tones na Sionna’s Chris Maguire on the football equivalent. Éire Óg’s Niall Malone and Jarlath Donnellan from Wolfe Tones are members of the Munster Development Panel. Both Quinn and Maguire are also on the National Support panel for football.
Mullins will have some time to prepare for his next outing as a referee with a blanket ban on all GAA activities in place for the foreseeable future in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.