FIFA referee Padraigh Sutton took charge of EA Sports Cup Final between Shamrock Rovers and Drogheda United at Tallaght Stadium on Saturday 21st 2013.
It was the first major domestic final as a referee for the 36-year-old garda sergeant who hails from Ennis and is based at Roxboro Garda Station in Limerick. He was previously an assistant referee at the 2001 League Cup Final and Fourth Official for the 2011 FAI Ford Cup Final.
He has been a member of the FAI’s elite referees panel since 2000 having started refereeing in the Clare League in 1998 and is a graduate of the FAI’s school of excellence for referees. Sutton gained his FIFA referees badge in 2011.
“It was my first major cup final and it was a very enjoyable experience, though it was a difficult match to referee. It was one of the rare occasions when we had a six man team of referees. We made no decisions that had an adverse effect on the result.”
His achievement of making the FIFA list in 2011 earned him a Garda Sports Award that year, a honour he deeply appreciated, as An Garda Síochána have been extremely supportive of his refereeing career.
Sutton said, “I had just started out as a referee when I went to Templemore in 1999 and over the 14 seasons I have been in the Airtricity League I have received tremendous support from all my colleagues. The gardaí are heavily involved in a lot of sports and I try to help out the football side of it whenever I can, though those matches are probably the hardest I ever have to referee.”
“I’ve found when I am working that a lot of people recognise me and that can be very helpful in a lot of situations. However, when I am refereeing in the Airtricity League the players just look at you as a referee and not as a policeman.”