David Gough (// GOF; born 1983) is a Gaelic football referee from County Meath. He comes from the Slane club. His four umpires are father Eugene, brother Stephen, uncle Terry and cousin Dean, who have assisted him with every game since he started.
As well as hoping to referee a final of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, Gough wants to referee the International Rules Series. He achieved the first of these goals in 2019, when his performance was hailed by "neutral" commentators as "outstanding" and "superb" particularly in his handling of a contentious incident involving Jonny Cooper's dismissal from the field of play.He received further praise from some "neutral" observers for his handling of an incident with Kerry's Tom O Sullivan who was issued a yellow card followed by noting for a tackle on a Dublin player John Small.
Gough has played football in his county since the age of seven. He has a Hogan Cup medal with St Pat's of Navan, from 2001. He also has a county U21 C title with his club, a Trench Cup medal and a Division 2 League title with St Patrick's College in Drumcondra.
Gough was introduced to refereeing by Tom Fitzpatrick, the games promotion officer at Drumcondra. After leaving college Gough began a refereeing course in Meath. He began refereeing in late 2007.
Gough and Fitzpatrick volunteer with outdoor advertising company CBS, who project images onto the big screens at Croke Park, tasked with preventing any contentious incidents being shown at the stadium. He was on hand at the 2010 Leinster Senior Football Championship Final to block RTÉ showing the scenes from that match's notorious ending.
Gough's first competitive inter-county fixture was a 2011 O'Byrne Cup match between Offaly and UCD on a wet Wednesday night in Rhode. He received a high 95 per cent from referee assessor, Joe Moynagh in Louth.
Gough refereed the 2014 National Football League Division 2 final between Donegal and Monaghan, the final of the 2015 O'Byrne Cup between Dublin and Kildare, the 2016 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship semi-final between Dublin and Kerry and the 2017 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship semi-final replay between Mayo and Kerry.
He has now refereed all four top finals in the GAA Calendar. In chronological order these were:
- 2013 All-Ireland Under 21 Football Championship final between Galway and Cork
- 2015 All-Ireland Minor Football Championship final between Kerry and Tipperary
- 2017–18 All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship final between Corofin (Galway) and Nemo Rangers (Cork)
- 2019 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final (drawn game) between Dublin and Kerry
At provincial level he has officiated at the 2016 Munster Senior Football Championship Final between Kerry and Tipperary, the 2017 Connacht Senior Football Championship Final between Galway and Roscommon and the 2018 Ulster Senior Football Championship Final between Donegal and Fermanagh.
At local level, Gough refereed three Meath Intermediate Football Championship finals (2010, 2013 and the replay in 2016) and the 2011 Meath Senior Football Championship final replay between Summerhill and Dunshaughlin. He also refereed the 2011 Leinster intermediate club final and the 2012 Leinster Senior club final between Ballymun Kickhams and Portlaoise.
Abroad now, and Gough has also refereed Gaelic football matches in Spain, in Qatar (Middle East Games) and in the United States (New York GAA versus Sligo GAA in the 2017 Connacht Senior Football Championship).
Gough is a teacher by profession.
He is his sport's first openly gay top-level match official. In 2015, the sport's governing body refused to allow him wear a rainbow wristband during a league match between Dublin and Tyrone at Croke Park, prompting media coverage, discussion, criticism and disappointment.
- "Gough playing to the whistle". Irish Examiner. 7 January 2012. Archived from the original on 17 May 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
- Reilly, Jerome (8 March 2015). "Gay ref shown red card over rainbow wristband: Referee for last night's Croker game banned by GAA from wearing symbol aimed at highlighting homophobia". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
- "McStay hails 'outstanding' Gough performance". Hogan Stand. 2 September 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
- Gough mentioned this during an interview on part two of C.L.U.B.'s episode seven of the first season, which aired on TG4 between 19:30 and 20:00 on 5 November 2018. The following description is derived from the source - Irish Independent, Weekend Magazine, 3 November 2018, p. 53. "At one of the youngest clubs in the country: Laochra Loch Lao in Belfast, with Meath referee David Gough."
- "Coldrick to referee All-Ireland football final". Hogan Stand. 8 September 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- "GAA bans gay ref from wearing 'pride' wristband". The Irish News. 9 March 2015. Archived from the original on 15 March 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- "Referee Gough 'dismayed and let down' at GAA's ban on wearing Gay Pride wristband". Irish Examiner. 8 March 2015. Archived from the original on 15 March 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
- Duffy, Nick (8 March 2015). "Irish referee banned from wearing rainbow wristband". Pink News. Archived from the original on 15 March 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
- Healy, Paul (10 March 2015). "Dubs boss Jim Gavin backs gay referee in wristband row". Evening Herald. Retrieved 10 March 2015.