Wicklow referee is named President
THE ROAD to success is always under construction.
For Paul O’Brien, the road to success was a long, long, but completely worthwhile one.
O’Brien made history this week as he became the new President of the Irish Soccer Referee’s Sociery at just 36 years of age; the young president in the ISRS’s history.
The vote took place in the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Dublin, on Wednesday last and O’Brien will assume the office of president at the next national council meeting which shall be held in Donegal in September.
During his campaign, O’Brien travelled the length and breadth of the country; popping up in Carlow, Donegal, Limerick, Waterford and Cork amongst others. But the end justified the means for O’Brien.
“I am deeply honoured that so many of my colleagues from around the country thought I was the best man for the job and elected me their president. I now begin my work to ensure a smooth
transition and to work for the betterment of refereeing in Ireland. I look forward to working in partnership with the FAI and with all the other bodies around the country.”
That is only the beginning of the travelling for O’Brien though, who intends to be a hands-on president.
“When I become president in September I plan to visit as many branches of the ISRS as I can for I want the local branches to have a say in how their society should be run during my presidency.
“I am going to focus on recruitment, training and retainment, for I believe that the best referees in the country are members of the ISRS, for they attend regular branch meetings where they receive the best training there is. I would like to extend an invitation to all non-society referees in the country to join society; I can assure them that they will receive excellent training, guidance and above all protection. They would become part of what I see as the ‘refer- eeing family’.”
And O’Brien also had kind words for the outgoing replacement as well as his colleagues in the Wicklow Branch of the ISRS.
“I want to also pay tribute to our current president, Bernard Foy. Bernard joined the national council in 1978, the same year I was born. He has been a dedicated hardworking member of the executive, first in the role as vice-president and for the past six years as president. I know Bernard will assist me in every way possible over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition.
“Last but not least I want to thank the members of my own branch. The members in Wicklow have been a tower of strength for me, through the good and bad times. I hope I can make them proud of me as I take on my new role as the national president of our society.”
Fresh from one successful campaign, O’Brien will now be hoping to repeat his success when he runs in the local elections in May as part of the Labour Party.
Wicklow referee Paul O’Brien who was elected as President of the ISRS.