Another Covid blow

Photo: Dublin GAA

The latest GAA-related Covid news – broken this evening by RTÉ’s Damian Lawlor (report here) – comes as a huge blow to everyone who may have been expecting a resumption of inter-county action within any kind of reasonable timeframe this year.

In short, the GAA were informed by the Government earlier this week that their inter-county action, as well as that of the LGFA and the Camogie Association, is not covered by the elite sports exemption under the current Level 5 restrictions. This means no training or matches can take place while the current restrictions remain in place.

The earliest any changes might be made to the current restrictions is on 5th March and even then it’s unlikely that much loosening will take place. This in turn means that there’s now no prospect of inter-county games getting going this year until after Easter, which this year falls at the start of April.

This latest development basically upends whatever plans the GAA thought they had for this year’s fixtures. Everything is now up in the air once again, including what competitions might take place and when they’ll be played and, assuming a split season approach will still be used, whether it’s inter-county or club that will be played off first. Or, indeed, if this can happen at all.

In other words, it’s back to the drawing board as, once again, Covid rips through all the plans that have been made. In that report linked above, the GAA confirms that it will revisit its Master Fixture calendar for 2021 once there’s clarity from Government about what sporting activity will be allowed to take place and when.

Until that happens, we’re all – players, managers, backroom staff, mentors and supporters – in a holding pattern as training and games of all varieties – male and female, adult and juvenile, big ball and small ball – remain mothballed.

This, of course, is far from the worst impact of Covid. For those of us who, in our own different ways, get so much from our involvement with the GAA, it is nonetheless a bitter blow but one which, like life in general in this pandemic era, we simply have to accept.

46 thoughts on “Another Covid blow

  1. This government, which slept through the summer, autumn and winter has woken up and panicked in the last few days. Still we must remember that the Irish nation has had worse governments in the past, eve if we have to go back about 100 years. But we survived, the GAA survived and we will, most of us at least, survive again.

  2. Another Covid Blow .. Best coach and man manager I ever knew passed away last night from Covid .Aged 61 .. I’m sure we can wait till April to get back training. Sure we can blame the government. But what about individual responsibility !!!! League should be scrapped for this year.

  3. Last year we thought there was light at the end of the tunnel. Little did we know it was the headlight of a oncoming train. Was watching to crows fighting yesterday over a bit of bread. Found myself cheering 1 of them on. Lord I need to get to a game. Stay safe my friends.

  4. Jack Chambers not giving any solace in that interview either.

    Anyway, accentuating the positive, I think there are plusses for us as the league is pushed back:

    * Brendan Harrison has more rehab time
    * Jason Doc has more rehab time
    * Boyler has more rehab time
    * Paul Towey has more s&c time
    * Mark Moran has more s&c time
    * Ditto some potential panellists – Aidan Orme, Callaghan

  5. I don’t consider this a blow, in fact all Gaa to take a long break for a while, sure it has gone far too predictable, the Dubs are here to stay, better to break the mould for a year.

  6. The point is well made about the club lottos.
    I hope the club links get visited and anyone that can afford the local lotto give it a twist.

    I’d normally do a few tickets on the visits home but with no visiting I hadn’t been contributing so I can give the online a go.

    I wouldn’t be overly parochial either. I do the yearly subscription for the little club where I live in Galway. Ballindereen. A hurling club. Great facilities and they run different things for all ages. They have great pride in their facilities and I’m always happy to subscribe for their lotto.

    For the County I try and buy a batch of tickets for one of the draws a year to go towards the team. While I bitch and moan about gate prices from time to time it’s always good to keep in mind how expensive it is to keep a club afloat.

    I hope that insurance for the club’s has been dropped or drastically reduced for the past 12 months and the coming year to help out.

    I believe that slowly but surely we will get back to kicking ball at all levels. Now might be the most crucial time for the club lottos so that they have something in the kitty for when our games and training begin again.

    Thanks for providing the links for all the club’s lottos and isn’t a great investment in youth and a healthy lifestyle when all is said and done.

  7. My Ball,
    “What about individual responsibility” Yes indeed. What about it. If everybody was individually responsible we would not need a government taking charge, police policing us or a myriad of other institutions. But some of us are not, which fact is what escaped those who should have been making plans for al sorts of foreseeable eventualities which have come to pass. It is not surprising that virus’s mutate. It was, afterall, a mutation which enabled this one to infect humans. When our cattle and sheep were under threat from foot and mouth we could establish cross border checkpoints and nobody talked about the number of border crossings. Most people did not travel for Christmas homecomings and those who did did so responsibly. We had no F & M infections apart from the one at Carlingford and none at all in the previous outbreak. So let’s have more individual responsibility but let’s not depend on it. We may need to go to Teneriffe for a tooth filling.

  8. Andy D, the real fact is that nobody wants to take responsibility for anything anymore, all fighting to get their own agenda, basically the public service are controlling us, and do damn all apart from the over worked hospital staff.
    Secondary School unions, HSE bosses, etc.
    All Government wants to do is burden people with fines, all avoiding the real issues.

  9. Correct decision not to have games now but allowing LO Ireland games is unbelievable. All the worse that the government are bailing them out. In the GAA community we can not depend on supporter’s to follow HSE advise ref Moycullen and indeed Belmullet

  10. Jr, LOI and Rugby are professional/semi Professional and as such can operate in a bubble before and after games/training etc, that’s why they are deemed elite. Also to be fair the GAA got a big bailout before the start of the championship last year and will more than likely get the same this year, I dont see the problem with other sports getting similar support.

  11. Certainly behavior after county finals and all ireland finals spooked the CMO. If people behaved the league would be up an running now and would be great to have on tv. Reminds of a Fr Ted episode where the bully priest played by Brendan Grace said “I have had my fun and that’s all that matters” . Unfortunately there are many selfish people around.

  12. Mayomad,
    You are mad if you think that LOI operate in a bubble. There are a few clubs, very few, which might manage it but most of them are living hand to mouth, paying players a few bob but most of the players are working on the side as well. This is especially true of Championship teams where many of the players are amateurs. Most clubs cannot pay outside of the playing season and as a result see players departing for the green grass of England, etc. without collecting a transfer fee.

  13. I think and hope that the inter-county season will not be played until back end of year like last year. hopefully everyone that wants to be vacinated will have got it by then and the supporters can attend the games again.I really think mayo would have won the all-ireland in 2020 if we could have been in croke park shouting and cheering the players on. I feel the team really missed the supporters during the last quarter of the game.

  14. Ah Jimbo. If only the supporters were there…were they were there for every final we’ve ever played in? and it didn’t make the difference. Can you just not admit that they give it everything they had but were beaten by a superior team.
    We’re a team in transition, better days to come.

  15. Wouldn’t have made any difference if our supporters were there the Dubs would have their supporters too and the hill packed so we would have cancelled each other out. We have lost finals In September October and December in full houses and empty houses after replays and on final day itself been hammered out the gate in finals and been so close only losing by the minimum. The sad reality is until we have forwards that can outscore the opposition on final day we won’t win Sam.There’s no reason it can’t happen there are footballers yet to be born
    That will win Sam for their county.

  16. John Cuffe’s article on the Western People is spot on re Keith and the ‘scaffolding off the grass”

  17. Football all stars on rte this Saturday evening at 6.30 pm. I think the football team will be announced on Friday morning. I think we will get three – Oisin, Paddy D and Cillian with Oisin getting young footballer

  18. 3 all-stars for AI finalists would be a poor return. Those 3 are shoo-ins I would imagine + Kevin Mc at least.

  19. does anybody know did oisin mullen win that young sports star of the year we were all voting for?. i think that we will get four all-stars with kevin mcloughlin finally getting his well deserved award.

  20. Jimbo I’ve just checked that voting thing in the independent and managed to vote again Oisin is on 49 % with his nearest rival on 40

  21. Pick up is not as clear cut as youd first think , look at it in slow motion , I’ve looked at it numerous times like a lot I’d say . Bastick certainly puts his foot under the ball, my argument would be does he faintly roll it onto foot with the hand , it’s not clear , youd nearly have to zoom in somehow .

    Not the reason we lost the final though , 16 two soft goals, OG s , 17 Vaughans rush to the head that seen him get red . Dublin are near impossible to beat , even in them years when we thought we had them , they grinded it out , you have to credit them there, sheer athleticism with our bucks only a percentage or two behind . All in the past now but a mayo team that will never be forgotten for all the right reasons bar that elusive prize .

    12 -17 , my point will always be , if mayo had of won any or multiple , nobody would of said we were undeserving , one of the greatest teams ever , I dont care what anyone says .

  22. Jimbo – Club will rightly go second this year. Hopefully and I think we will then have full crowds at club games without restrictions on numbers.

  23. Goagain – I haven’t any such reports in the media and the rule here is that, if a story isn’t in the public domain, this isn’t the place to break it. On that basis I’m deleting your comment.

  24. Once upon a time the demon drink was the ruination of many a good young Footballers nowadays it’s Tic Tock

  25. Yeah Claremorris 1951. Bastick picks it off the ground alright. No free given.

    Two seconds left of the 7 minutes added time. 65 years of hurt was to be ended right there with 1 swing of Cillians leg.

    It’s easy win 5 or 6 in a row with stuff like that going on.

  26. Your moniker is very apt there backdoor Sam while describing the particular tik tok video. I wonder what Horan thought of the pancake recipee. God be with the days of rhe recently retired Keith Higgins. Did his talking on the pitch and kept clear of the nonsense.

  27. The pancake video taken in isolation is potentially amusing, but more accurately it’s a combination of ridiculous & weird…but when previous videos are taken into account any amusement is gone. I would have thought the individual would have been well advised and also inclined to steer well clear of posting online videos. Never mind the manager, if I was a senior player I’d be having serious words. I wouldn’t be happy. At all.

  28. Oh lord we ye lighten up above we are in the middle of a pandemic with very little to do, some people think we own county players.

  29. Can anybody tell me when the new Gaa President will he in place ?

    I say let County games wait till later in the year.

    Current Gaa hierarchy are adamant to keep the Dubs on a roll.

  30. I’m gonna give up the Pub for Lent this year, It’s different this year, I really feel that I can do it. I’m really determined..I successfully managed to stay away for all of Advent, Christmas, New Year, done Dry January, managed to keep it going past St Bridget’s Day, and on to Valentine’s Day.. The next six weeks should be a less than 5KM walk in the park…I gave up going to football Match’s since the 1st of March 2020, almost a whole year, how I done it I’ll never know… Life’s not good, but at least I had my Pancakes ate yesterday before someone send me a video clip, because that video clip could have put me off Pancakes for all time.. It’s great to have the football to talk about, keeps my mind from wandering, about Pubs and Pancakes…. Next game, have the jersey iorned, the lunch packed because it might be an away game, just wondering have the players been born yet who might be playing!

  31. The 2014 draw and replay vs Kerry was on Eir last night. Im not one to rewatch games but I watched the drawn game.
    I sometimes forget the brilliantly chaotic nature of big Mayo games. We were spoiled rotten for sheer entertainment. Although incredibly frustrating to watch the last 10minutes. I almost expected Colm Boyle to stand in the middle of the pitch after the game ala Russell Crowe shouting, “are you not entertained”.
    Also anyone who questions Cillians credentials as a top forward should watch that game back. Hit 1-8 that day.
    Couldnt bring myself to watch the replay though.

  32. Casual observer – things are bad enough with lockdown etc. If we were to watch that replay in Limerick – it certainly wouldn’t help to lift the spirits!!

  33. It’s only when we. Go through a few lean years will we come to realize how good the period from 2011 really was. Some savage days

  34. You wouldn’t liberal in the role but people have to have a life outside football too. There’s great money to be made on tik tok if you can get enough followers.Does anyone know is Liam Irwin on the Mayo panel? If he’s not he’s one that got away he’s more a natural full forward than others on the panel maybe. If he was in a position to commit and get fit he would be a great addition to the panel

  35. I don’t think Liam Irwin is even on the Breaffy panel anymore Backdoorsam. From what I heard he’s not playing Gaelic anymore, but I’m sure there are others that can confirm if that’s the case or not.

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