Meet James Owens, the Kilrush man who refereed the Limerick-Galway All-Ireland hurling final in August! He has previously refereed the 2015 All-Ireland final between Kilkenny and Galway and has also refereed All-Ireland minor, U21 and club finals.
Here, he answers our Quick Fire Round of 15 questions!
Favourite sports team: Arsenal
Favourite GAA team: Wexford, but I love the way Cork play hurling
Sporting hero: David O’Leary – I’ll never forget him scoring that goal from a penalty in the World Cup against Romania in Italia ‘90
Favourite memory as a referee: Refereeing my first hurling All-Ireland final in 2015!
Best score in a match you’ve refereed: Austin Gleeson’s goal in the All-Ireland semi-final against Cork last year
Best player you’ve refereed: Richie Hogan and/or TJ Reid, both from Kilkenny
Hurl or hurley? Hurley
Hobbies: When I’m not working or refereeing, it’s downtime with friends, though I don’t have a lot of spare time!
What three people would you invite to dinner? My mother, Arsene Wenger, and José Mourinho
Favourite takeaway? Chinese food – anything with chicken and rice
iPhone or Android? Android
What’s on your bucket list? To referee my third All-Ireland final! And to travel the world at some point
Dream job as a child: I wanted to be a Guard
Dream job now: A job helping people. I met President Michael D Higgins the day after the All-Ireland final – I wouldn’t mind that job!
Askamore or Kilrush? It’s Kilrush, though I’m always referred to as coming from Askamore. It’s Kilrush always first – and I played more football with Kilrush than hurling with Askamore