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'It's sort of rampant' - GAA official is locked in his dressing room for his own safety after under-14 game logo 14/09/2018 Newsdesk

Four-time All-Ireland hurling final referee Brian Gavin Four-time All-Ireland hurling final referee Brian Gavin Four-time All-Ireland hurling final referee Brian Gavin has admitted that he is not surprised to hear how a referee was kept in his dressing room for 20 minutes for his own safety following an under-14 game in Donegal.

The game took place last weekend and the matter is being investigated by Donegal GAA.

The referee was reportedly confronted by a large group of supporters after the final whistle. He was ushered to a dressing room and kept there for 20 minutes for his own safety.

Incident like this are becoming all too common around the country, according to Gavin.

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"You wouldn't be a bit shocked at the moment. It's sort of rampant," he told Newstalk Breakfast this morning.

"If it isn't Donegal, it'll be another county and that's the unfortunate part.

A gaelic pitch © Getty A gaelic pitch

"People just think that they can do what they want at GAA matches and they can speak to referees whatever way they want.

"The kids hear this from their managers and selectors and parents, so the thought process of the young lads growing up is they think it's the normal thing to do.

"So it just escalates then.

"It's not just in Donegal, it's in every county, we've just heard about this one in Donegal.

"Some referees in recent years have been struck and there have been assault cases against a lot of people in the GAA."

Gavin feels the GAA has a lot of work to do to get up to the standard set by rugby.

"You look at rugby and you would be so envious of the way players talk to the referee and how the referees talk to players," he added.

"It's a two-way process. When you are a referee you have to have respect for the players and that's a big issue too.

"It's the one thing we haven't done right in the GAA. Have we done enough to curtail it? I don't think so."

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