David Gough makes history as the first openly gay referee of the All Ireland Football Final 2019

Gough has made history by becoming the first openly gay referee of the men's senior All Ireland football final, but the road to this milestone has not always been smooth.

David Gough stands smiling in his referee uniform holding a GAA ball

David Gough, made history at the weekend becoming the first openly gay GAA match official to referee the men’s senior All-Ireland football final.

Yesterday’s match between Dublin and Kerry ended in a draw and was attended by 82,000 fans with close to an average of 1 million viewers watching or streaming the game.

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

David Gough previously said that he has never had issues with players or team officials, but has had homophobic abuse thrown his way by supporters during matches.

Earlier this year, Gough confirmed that the GAA would take part in Dublin Pride. It was the first time in Dublin Pride’s 36-year history that the amateur sporting organisation, one of the strongest proponents of Irish cultural heritage, was involved.

Following the announcement and speaking on The Late Late Show, Gough highlighted the progress the association has made in regards to diversity:

“As a result of our discussions, Eddie McGuinness (Associate Festival Director ) extended an invitation to the GAA and for the first time in the 36-year history of Pride, the GAA has accepted an invitation to walk in the Pride Parade.

“Since 2015 up to now, they have done a huge amount to change their attitudes towards inclusivity and LGBT+ rights.

“That has been brought on by the sitting President, John Horan — who is an extremely open, honest, accessible, wonderful man. He is a secondary school principal, so he would have had to deal with these issues himself.

“At his first annual address to GAA congress this year he paid particular attention to LGBT+ members within the association and in his speech he asked for greater awareness and greater support for those members.”

The association has made great strides towards LGBT+ inclusion in recent years, confirming that they would be employing a full-time diversity and inclusion officer in 2019, as well as speaking out against homophobia in the sporting world.

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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