We’re back in the news with a bang today, with not one but two Covid-related stories. Combined, this amounts to more than a hint of chaos in our ranks ahead of Sunday’s Connacht semi-final against Leitrim.
A Covid scare is one thing and we’re obviously not the first county panel to be impacted in this way ahead of a match. With the pandemic far from being quelled yet, public health considerations remain paramount, with the impact this has on Sunday’s match necessarily of lesser priority.
Breaking Covid rules that are in place is another matter altogether. We were in the headlines on this months back and we’re the focus of another story in this vein today.
The official Mayo GAA statement on the Covid outbreak doesn’t appear to be online yet – it’s not on their website or on their Twitter account at any rate – but RTÉ, the Irish Examiner and the Connaught Telegraph all print the statement in its entirety. This is what it says:
Mayo GAA are currently working with the HSE on a number of Covid-19 related queries amongst members of the county senior football panel.
Mayo GAA are following HSE guidelines and our senior team are continuing their preparation for Sunday’s Connacht Championship game versus Leitrim.
The bit that jumps out there is that there are ‘a number’ of possible Covid cases within the panel being investigated. Your guess is as good as mine as to how many that represents but it certainly appears to be more than one.
This will obviously impact on any team announcement we make ahead of Sunday. There’s got to be a good chance now that we won’t see any team list until shortly before the game.
One man who’s unlikely to feature for us on Sunday is Lee Keegan. Colm Keys in the Irish Independent (print version) confirms the rumour that’s been swirling around all week that Lee has picked up some kind of shoulder injury and that he won’t be fit to play on Sunday.
Separately, the Irish Independent reports this morning (here) that the official Mayo kit van is being denied entry by Connacht GAA to Sunday’s game. This is because the van reportedly had “an unauthorised individual on board” as it was seeking to get into Markievicz Park for the Sligo game the other week.
This is the second time an incident like this has happened and it’s obviously embarrassing in the extreme. It’s one thing pulling a clownish stunt like this on All-Ireland day but, having been caught out and disciplined for that infraction, to try the same thing again is more than a little bone-headed.
As the Covid scare we’re now grappling with shows, the public health guidelines are there for a reason and so wilfully breaking the rules in the current climate is reckless in the extreme. All involved in this nonsense need to get their house in order and sharpish.