The GAA has this evening issued a return to play protocol following last Friday evening's announcement of the government's five phase plan. The association have also set up a Covid-19 Advisory Group, with former Limerick senior footballer Dr Jim O'Donovan named as a member.
According to a statement on GAA.ie, "The Association will attempt to seek clarity around some of the issues that have arisen in internal discussions since last Friday including the challenge of social distancing in contact sport. GAA facilities are to remain closed as part of efforts to prevent gatherings which breach the restrictions"
The GAA is also instructing its clubs and counties to continue to "adhere to the restrictions and to refrain from organising on-field activity. These measures are expected to remain in place until July 20" reminding those involved that the Player Injury scheme is suspended and will remain so until an official return to action protocol is confirmed.
On a positive note, the GAA still firmly hopes to be able to play county and club competitions this year, subject of course to public health guidance. However, the GAA have confirmed that no inter-county games are expected to take place before October.
"Counties are asked, in the interest of players, to suspend all inter-county training until further notice. There will be a phased resumption of training at both club and county level to allow players to prepare appropriately for playing games. While not categorically ruling out the possible staging of games behind closed doors later in the year, there appears to be a lack of appetite for this type of fixture-scheduling at the current time across the wider Association."
The GAA can also confirm the appointment of a dedicated Covid-19 Advisory Group which will advise the Association on matters relating to return to play protocols and other similar issues.
The members of this group are as follows:
Shay Bannon (Chairman) - existing Chairman of Health and Safety group
Dick Clerkin (existing Chairman of Medical Scientific and Welfare Committee)
Dr Pat O’Neill (Dublin)
Dr Kevin Moran (Donegal)
Dr Jim O’Donovan (Limerick)
Dr Seán Moffatt (Chair of Gaelic Medical Association and Mayo team doctor)
Paul Flynn (CEO Gaelic Players Association)
Stephen Mc Geehan (Head of Operations, Ulster GAA)
Tony Mc Guinness (Events and Safety Manager, Croke Park)
Sinéad McNulty (CEO An Cumann Camógaíochta)
Helen O’Rourke (CEO Ladies Gaelic Football Association)
John Horan (Uachtarán CLG)
Tom Ryan (Ard Stiúrthóir CLG)
Feargal Mc Gill (Director of Player, Club and Games Administration)
The outcome of this group’s work will be a graduated approach, informed and guided by the recently published Government Roadmap and by Government policy from Stormont.