David Gough, hailing from County Meath, quickly made a name for himself as one of the top Gaelic football referees in the country. He played for his county and achieved success with St Pat’s of Navan, winning a prestigious Hogan Cup medal in 2001.
It was during his college years that Gough discovered his talent for officiating. Encouraged by Tom Fitzpatrick, the games promotion officer at Drumcondra, Gough embarked on a refereeing course in Meath. In late 2007, he took to the field as a referee for the first time.
Gough quickly rose through the ranks, officiating in various high-profile matches. He presided over the 2014 National Football League Division 2 final between Donegal and Monaghan, the 2015 O’Byrne Cup final between Dublin and Kildare, and the 2016 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship semi-final clash between Dublin and Kerry. His expertise and fair judgment earned him the opportunity to referee the 2020 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship semi-final between Mayo and Tipperary.
At the local level, Gough has been a fixture in Meath football, refereeing multiple championship finals. He officiated three Meath Intermediate Football Championship finals, including the thrilling 2016 replay. He also oversaw the 2011 Meath Senior Football Championship final replay between Summerhill and Dunshaughlin. Gough’s talent extended beyond county boundaries, as he refereed the 2011 Leinster intermediate club final and the 2012 Leinster Senior club final.
Gough’s dedication to the sport has taken him around the world. He has refereed Gaelic football matches in Spain, Qatar (Middle East Games), and the United States, bringing his expertise to international audiences. Despite his rising status, Gough remains humble and committed to his role as a teacher by profession.
With his calm demeanor, sharp decision-making, and deep understanding of the game, David Gough has become a respected figure in Gaelic football refereeing. His contributions to the sport continue to shape the future of the game, and his passion for fair play and integrity serves as an inspiration to aspiring referees everywhere.