O’BRIEN ELECTED!

Wick­low ref­eree is named Pres­i­dent

Bray People - - SPORT - DANIEL GOR­MAN Sports Re­porter

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.

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