David Gough calls on GAA to do more for LGBT+ inclusion and to fly rainbow flag at Croke Park

Gay inter-county referee David Gough said that while they have made strides in recent years, GAA needs to do more for inclusion.

David Gough GAA
Image: GAA

David Gough, the country’s first openly gay GAA match official, said he is still waiting for the Pride flag “to be flown over Croke Park” adding he believes the GAA will ultimately regret not making the gesture sooner.

The association has made great strides towards LGBT+ inclusion in recent years, employing a full-time diversity and inclusion officer in 2019, as well as speaking out against homophobia in the sporting world but Gough would like to see them go further.

Speaking on the Tackling Sport podcast, he spoke about the GAA’s involvement in Dublin Pride in 2019 and called for a greater symbolic gesture in future.

“We’re not there yet,” said Gough on inclusion. “Alright, we have our Diversity and Inclusion officer for the first time ever in Croke Park, she’s the first D&I officer in a full-time role within any of the sporting organisations in the country. But we still have a long way to go.

“I’m still waiting for that Pride flag to be flown over Croke Park or Croke Park to light itself up like the Aviva in rainbow colours. Every other iconic Dublin landmark flies the Pride flag or puts itself in rainbow colours over that weekend and the GAA are just slow in changing their protocols. But it will come and when it does come, they’ll wonder why they sat back and waited for so long.”

David Gough, made history last September when he became the first openly gay GAA match official to referee the men’s senior All-Ireland football final between Dublin and Kerry.

Gough, a teacher from County Meath, lives in Dublin and is the GAA education and development officer in DCU’s St Patrick’s campus.

Gough made headlines in 2015 when the GAA refused to allow him to wear a rainbow wristband during the Marriage Equality referendum.

He noted, “The GAA tell us they give us a huge amount of support but we never really see it in their actions, there is no LGBT policy within the GAA. They never fly a rainbow flag above Croke Park when every other part of Dublin in celebrating pride weekend. There are no physical signs that the GAA is supporting LGBT.”

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