By Lamin Dammeh
The legendary Irish priest cum Philanthropist, Rev. Joseph Father Gough, indeed a great
contributor to sports in the Gambia has died, aged 73. The veteran icon hugely credited for transforming sports and education in the Gambia, passed away at his native country, Ireland on monday, March 20, after a long battle with illness. Father Gough, a highly respectable figure across the globe, spent nearly four decades of tremendous investment in education and sports in the Gambia. His work includes but, not limited to the establishment of Father Gough artificial sports complex at Manjai Kunda and a well built basketball court in Banjul. The venue (in Manjai Kunda), was named after a legendary former Gambian international footballer Alhagie Njie, popularly called Biri Biri, in 2011, marking yet another great history in Gambian sports.
Mourners from within the Gambia upon receiving the news on the death of Father Gough, took to social media to express sadness over the demise of the man, widely admired for his tireless efforts towards the advancement/improvement of sports in the Gambia.
He was born in Kilkenny, Ireland in 1944 and later proceeded to Rockwell College in Ireland where he secured secondary education.
He joined the Congregation of Holy Ghost fathers in 1963, and proceeded to University College Dublin, where he received his BA Degree.
The hardworking Irish man Mr Gough graduated from one of Ireland’s most decorated universities, and later went into teaching at Ireland’s most prestigious High School, Black rock College.
Mr Gough’s sojourn in the Gambia took him to Saint Augustine’s high School where he served as Principal of the school from 1978 to 1983. His four ( 4), year stint at the school saw him win the hearts and minds of Saint Augustine’s students with whom he remained an iconic figure and mentor until his demise.
Father Joseph has honorably served the government of the Gambia after he was appointed Gambia’s ambassador at large in 2009.
The appointment was in recognition of his invaluable service to the nation.