Sadie Duffy from Buncrana in County Donegal is Ireland's first female boxing referee and ringside judge.
At the Ulster Hall in Belfast, County Antrim, judges and referees are allocated their positions for the 12 contests of the Smithwicks Ulster Senior Amateur Boxing Championship Finals.
Among them is Sadie Duffy, Ireland’s only female boxing referee and ringside judge. Sadie Duffy from Buncrana in County Donegal first became involved in boxing through her husband Eamon Duffy, a former boxer.
Sadie Duffy started attending tournaments with Eamon and this experience led to her desire to become a judge herself. She attended a referee and judging seminar and learned the rules of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association. She then passed the exam enabling her to take a ringside seat as a judge.
Eamon Duffy explains his wife spent two year judging then,
She went for a referee’s exam and she passed it first time.
Sadie Duffy believes the roles of being a judge and a referee are equally important as require a deep knowledge of the rules. She deals with potential male chauvinists by how she conducts herself and enforces the rules,
They’ll know then that you are fair and that you take no nonsense.
President of the Ulster Provincial Council Pat McCrory believes Sadie Duffy is accepted in a traditionally male dominated sport,
She’s as good as if not better than most of our men.
This opinion is seconded by former Commonwealth champion Darren Corbett,
The best referee in amateur boxing in Northern Ireland at the minute is Sadie Duffy.
Former Ulster Senior Champion Paul Carson believes Sadie Duffy will make the big time and hopefully go on to pass her European and World tests.
While Pat McCrory is quite comfortable seeing Sadie Duffy stepping in the ring he draws the line at women boxing,
I don’t really encourage the women, no.
A 'Nationwide’ report broadcast on 29 May 2002. The reporter is Una Dunne.
The track accompanying this report is 'It's A Man's Man's Man's World' by James Brown.