Helen O’Reilly today becomes the first female referee to join the IRFU National Referee Panel.

Helen’s appoinment comes on the back of her impressive performance in the Women’s Rugby World Cup an her ongoing development through IPAS – the inter-provincial appoinment system – which has seen her take charge of games at various levels throughout Ireland.

The IRFU National Referee Panel provides referees and officials for the Ulster Bank League as well as providing assistant refereers and officials for matches in the Guinness PRO12 and European Competition.

Initially Helen will take charge of matches in Division 2A and 2B of the Ulster Bank League while she continues her development path.

Speaking about her appointment IRFU Director of Referee Development Owen Doyle said, “Helen’s appoinment is based solely on merit but as the first female referee to make the panel she must be congratulated.

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”.