David Gough has said he will not return to referee Gaelic football matches until a vaccine is made available for Covid-19.
Whilst the season has been suspended due to the ongoing health crisis, last Friday it was announced that games could return by July 20 under the roadmap outlined by the Government. While Leo Varadkar outlined on the Late Late Show that an All-Ireland final could take place behind closed doors.
The high profile official, who took charge of last year’s drawn All-Ireland final, like many others, has concerns around how this would work in an amateur environment.
“It’s my decision whether I go back. I’m a volunteer within the Association like everyone else,” Gough told RTE 2fm’s Game On.
“I’d have to sit down and have a long think about it. At the moment I would say no.
“I’d have to see what developments are made between now and July but certainly we’re not going to have a vaccine in place by July.
“With my own personal circumstances, at the moment I wouldn’t be comfortable refereeing matches with no vaccine.
“I’ll just speak for myself, I won’t say for other referees, but it’s going to be quite difficult for us getting back into inter-county setups definitely at that stage. Club games might be a little bit easier to deal with.”
Gough also voiced concerns around officials travelling together highlighting how “a lot of umpires” would fall into an older age category.
“My own circumstance, travelling from Dublin to Meath, picking up four umpires and putting them into a car, and then travelling around Meath for a Championship match might not be the most prudent way to start off refereeing again,” said Gough.
“A lot of our umpires would be in the older age bracket and we need to be very careful about we’re exposing these people to. I don’t know whether the Association is going to fork out for umpires to drive to the matches themselves if they can’t go safely in a car.