Monaghan referee Martin McNally has been included in the 2018 Championship panel.

Monaghan referee Martin McNally has been included in the 2018 Championship panel.

GAA confirms Championship Referees' Panels

The GAA has confirmed its panels of referees for the 2018 Championship in Hurling and Gaelic Football.

Two new referees have been included on the Championship panel - Monaghan's Martin McNally (Football) and Limerick’s Johnny Murphy (Hurling).

Sligo official Marty Duffy (Football) and Offaly’s Brian Gavin (Hurling) retired from the panel at the end of 2017.

Rory Hickey (Clare) was not considered for the football panel due to injury, while Barry Kelly (Westmeath) has stepped down from hurling refereeing this year. However both will continue as linesmen in 2018.

National Referees Development Chairman Willie Barrett was satisfied with how the Allianz Leagues unfolded in both codes.

"Obviously it is a very exciting time for the referees involved, but they would have been waiting with a lot of trepidation for the past fortnight to see who is on and who is not on the panel. It is an exciting time for the referees. Everyone is there on merit.

"We would be happy overall with the Leagues. There is no question the referees aren't going to get every decision 100% right, but we would be very happy in the review of the League with the overall performance of our referees in both Gaelic Football and Hurling. We had some excellent games in the League, we had two excellent Division One Finals and we believe they were all refereed exceptionally well."

Barrett is also adamant that the panel has a nice mix of experienced and emerging officials. "We are a development committee so we have to develop referees: that is our job," Barrett says.

"It is very easy to pick the top seven or eight referees and to keep using them the whole time. You aren't developing referees then. We are a development committee, which is why we have the numbers we have. We put referees into big games as standby referees and linesman alongside experienced referees.

"That is how you are going to develop referees, which has been our aim. We are happy we are doing that. We have a good mix of experience to go with the up and coming referees. We are very happy with the layout of our panels."

Four members of the Gaelic Football panel have refereed All Ireland Senior Finals previously - David Coldrick (3), Maurice Deegan (3), Joe McQuillan (3), and Conor Lane.

Diarmuid Kirwan (2), James McGrath (2), Fergal Horgan and James Owens have all taken charge of All Ireland Senior Hurling Finals.

The Referee and Linesman Panels for the 2018 Championship

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Football - Championship Panel of 18:

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Ciaran Branagan (An Dún)

Barry Cassidy (Doire)

David Coldrick (An Mhí)

Niall Cullen (Fear Manach)

Maurice Deegan (Laois)

David Gough (An Mhí)

Jerome Henry (Maigh Eo)

Padraig Hughes (Ard Mhacha)

Sean Hurson (Tír Eoghan)

Fergal Kelly (An Longfort)

Conor Lane (Corcaigh)

Martin McNally (Muineachán)

Joe McQuillan (An Cabhán)

Noel Mooney (An Cabhán)

Paddy Neilan (Ros Comáin)

Anthony Nolan (Cill Mhantáin)

Derek O'Mahony (Tiobraid Árann)

Cormac Reilly (An Mhí)

Football - Championship Linesman Panel of 8:

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James Bermingham (Corcaigh)

Brendan Cawley (Cill Dara)

Liam Devenney (Maigh Eo)

Paul Faloon (An Dún)

Sean Lonergan (Tiobraid Árann)

James Molloy (Gaillimh)

Padraig O’Sullivan (Ciarraí)

Barry Tiernan (Áth Cliath)

Hurling – Liam MacCarthy Championship panel of 10:

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Sean Cleere (Cill Chainnigh)

Fergal Horgan (Tiobraid Árann)

John Keenan (Cill Mhantáin)

Alan Kelly (Gaillimh)

Diarmuid Kirwan (Corcaigh)

Colm Lyons (Corcaigh)

James McGrath (An Iarmhí)

Johnny Murphy (Luimneach)

Paud O'Dwyer (Ceatharlach)

James Owens (Loch Garman)

Hurling – Joe McDonagh Cup and Christy Ring Cup Panel of 16:

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Peter Burke (Cill Chainnigh)

James Connors (Dún nan Gall)

Colum Cunning (Aontroim)

Alfie Devine (An Iarmhí)

Liam Gordon (Gaillimh)

Justin Heffernan (Loch Garman)

David Hughes (Ceatharlach)

Shane Hynes (Gaillimh)

John Keane (Gaillimh)

Cathal McAllister (Corcaigh)

Rory McGann (An Clár)

Paatrick Murphy (Ceatharlach)

John O'Brien (Laois)

Johnny Ryan (Tiobraid Árann)

Sean Stack (Áth Cliath)

Thomas Walsh (Port Láirge)

Hurling – Nicky Rackard Cup and Lory Meagher Cup Panel:

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Kevin Brady (An Lú)

James Clarke (An Cabhán)

Aiden Ferguson (Fear Manach)

Thomas Gleeson (Áth Cliath)

Kevin McGeeney (Ros Comáin)

Gearóid McGrath (Loch Garman)

Chris Mooney (Áth Cliath)

Gavin Quilty (Cill Chainnigh)

Nathan Wall (Corcaigh)