Helen O’Reilly has become the first female referee to join the Irish Rugby Football Union National Referee Panel.
The IRFU National Referee Panel provides referees and officials for the Ulster Bank League as well as providing assistant referees and officials for matches in the Guinness Pro12 and European competitions.
O’Reilly’s appoinment comes on the back of her impressive performance in the Women’s Rugby World Cup an her ongoing development through IPAS – the interprovincial appointment system – which has seen her take charge of games at various levels throughout Ireland.
Initially she will take charge of matches in Division 2A and 2B of the Ulster Bank League while she continues her development path.
“Helen’s appoinment is based solely on merit but as the first female referee to make the panel she must be congratulated,”said IRFU Director of Referee Development Owen Doyle.
“Her hard work, dedication and strong refereeing performances have propelled her into the top handful of female referees in the world and into the National Panel here in Ireland.”