While there is uncertainty for inter-county players amid doubts over the start dates and formats for the new season due to the continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, GAA referees are also somewhat in the dark about the weeks and months to come.

Speaking to RTÉ's Morning Ireland, David Gough touched on the current state of play for officials.

"It's not been easy. Each lockdown has brought a different level of anxiety around when we were going to get back out," he said.

"And it's hard to stay motivated and to stay fit. Unlike inter-county teams we don't have the facilities to meet the same way twice a week or more when normality sort of resumes.

"So even having to train on our own is nothing new to us. But with no prospect of matches in sight and a smaller number of matches, it has been very difficult for referees to stay motivated.

"But Croke Park, in fairness to them, were not set up for online learning this time last year, but they have moved very quick and they are keeping us up to date as best they can and having small seminars, clips and offering bits and pieces of advice, along with training schedules.

"So the help is there for us. It's just the motivation can be quite difficult to come by at the moment."

The Meath official also spoke about marking 10 years since coming out to his family.

"I relived that day yesterday with my mum over the phone when we spoke about it," he said.

"She called me and she's always very cognisant of that date. I remember Sunday evening, the 31st of January in 2011, calling my family into the kitchen at home in Slane - my mum, my dad and my older brother - to have that conversation with them.

"It had taken me almost four years to come to terms with my journey and my sexuality and to build up the confidence to speak about it to them.

"And I suppose, I had that very irrational fear that most people would have that they were somehow going to be treated differently or disappoint their family by telling them this news.

"I couldn't even say the words to them that I was gay. I had to say that I had a partner and that 'his name was'. It was met with a bit of silence and shock and I didn't know what was going through their minds.

"What I didn't know then that I know now was that they had to go on their own personal journey to deal with it as well and I'm very happy to say that it didn't take them the four years to go on their journey the same way it took me and I've never looked back."