Sunday 22 September 2019

David Gough's Dublin links no barrier to being final ref - says Pat McEnaney

David Gough will ref the All-Ireland final between Dublin and Kerry. Photo: Sportsfile
David Gough will ref the All-Ireland final between Dublin and Kerry. Photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Four-time All-Ireland final referee Pat McEnaney has said geography should not count against David Gough as the GAA prepare to appoint a referee for the All-Ireland football final between Kerry and Dublin.

Gough, who has never taken charge of an All-Ireland final before, despite is reputation as one of the best officials in the game, is favourite for the role which could be announced as early as today.

But there are misgivings in Kerry because of Gough's connections with Dublin where he resides, has taught in a Terenure primary school - he is now GAA education and development officer in the DCU St Patrick's campus in Drumcondra - and has had an involvement in the running of Cumann na mBunscol games programmes.

Kerry were dissatisfied with his display in the 2016 All-Ireland semi-final, a two-point defeat to Dublin, especially when Gough missed a clear foul by Kevin McManamon on Peter Crowley that led to a Dublin point when the sides were level.

McEnaney said a precedent was already set in 2015 when David Coldrick, another Meath referee who lives and works in Dublin, took charge of the Dublin-Kerry decider.

McEnaney believes Gough's performance in the Super 8s tie between Dublin and Cork "opened the door" for him to be "fully available" for the All-Ireland final.

"His performance that night was top class. You can't judge a player on the form of three years ago and it's the same now, he's right up there with the best. David Gough definitely has to be in the top two or three referees in the country."

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