THE GAA HAVE confirmed that David Gough will take charge of the the 2019 All-Ireland senior football final.
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The meeting of five in-a-row-chasing Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park on Sunday, 1 September, will come as the Meathman’s first senior decider to take charge of, with Conor Lane (Cork, standby referee) and Barry Cassidy (Derry) on the line and Sean Hurson (Tyrone) named fourth official.
Gough has been one of the top referees in Gaelic football in 2019 but there’s been furore in the lead-up to his appointment in the Kingdom as the 36-year-old lives and works in Dublin.
“I think it’s an injustice if he does get the game,” former Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice told the Irish Examiner GAA podcast this week, leading the calls.
“I am not going to be dictating here who I feel should get the game, but a final referee has to be a neutral referee.
“Of course when David Gough goes out to referee a match he is trying to be neutral and impartial, I am not questioning that, but it can’t be fair that if you are living and working in a place, that you get to referee an All-Ireland final involving that county.”
While debates kicked off on social media after Fitzmaurice’s comments, Aidan O’Mahony echoed his former manager’s words:
“David Gough shouldn’t be allowed to ref the All-Ireland final, he lives in Dublin and you need a neutral referee, that’s how I feel,” he wrote in his Paddy Power column yesterday.
Had Tyrone beaten Kerry in Sunday’s second All-Ireland final, the first Sunday in September would have been a tough sell as no one outside of Mickey Harte’s Red Hand County set-up would have been able to convince themselves that they had any chance of winning.