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David Gough: Bottles thrown at me after Dublin vs Kerry semi-final

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“I can remember looking up to the Cusack Stand and seeing the Fanta bottles and the water bottles and the match programmes raining down on me.”

GAA referee David Gough has spoken about the abuse he received after the 2016 All-Ireland semi-final between Dublin and Kerry in Croke Park.

david gough

David Gough.

Gough received a lot of plaudits for his refereeing performance in the 2019 All-Ireland final between the same two counties.

Nevertheless, the Meath native was subject to abuse at the end of the 2016 semi-final where he adjudicated that Kevin McManamon’s shoulder was side to side as opposed to a frontal charge which replays subsequently showed.

“I would have had some small bit of abuse after the All-Ireland semi-final in 2016, between Dublin and Kerry, when I made a mistake at the very end of the match,” Gough told RTÉ Radio 1’s Morning Ireland.

“And the frightening thing at the time was that I didn’t actually know I’d made a mistake when I was walking off the field.

“I can remember looking up to the Cusack Stand and seeing the Fanta bottles and the water bottles and the match programmes raining down on me.”

david gough

The Slane man had never experienced a situation quite like it and he described some of the language used as “vulgar”.

“I’d never experienced anything like that before, and it was frightening. And some of what was shouted in from the stands was… yeah, it was vulgar and it wasn’t nice,” Gough recalled.

“It was unfortunate that I had to listen to that, but also my umpires who are family members would have never heard anything like that before as well.

“So, that was frightening, but I’m happy to say it has never happened since.”

david gough

Positive reception.

However, David Gough also experienced a far more positive post-match reception when he was applauded for coming out and was refereeing a game the day after his Late Late Show appearance.

“Back in 2019, the evening after appearing on The Late Late Show, I refereed a Connacht championship match in Castlebar between Mayo and Roscommon, and Roscommon won an exciting game of football that night,” Gough stated.

“But afterwards, for me, the number of people that stopped me coming off the pitch, and the hundreds if not thousands of people who waited outside to greet the Roscommon team in the car park and in the background of Castlebar in the stadium.

“[They] stopped me and hugged me and told me how proud they were of me; and told me about their brothers and sisters, or their sons or daughters or nieces or nephews that were struggling with their own sexuality or who had come out.

“And, how proud a day it was for them to see that the GAA would walk in pride for the first time.”

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