Early May now the likely start time for inter-county action

Photo: Sky Sports

As we approach the first anniversary of the imposition of Covid-related restrictions – it’ll be a year next weekend since that madcap League match against Kerry, the last inter-county game that crowds were allowed to attend – the start date for inter-county action this year has become a little clearer.

The provision of clarity wasn’t an accusation that could, in truth, have been levelled at yesterday’s Government announcement on Living with Covid. Indeed, in its wake there was a fair bit of confusion about what the plan meant for GAA activity.

That’s now been clarified, with all eyes on 5th April, at which point the ongoing Level 5 restrictions will be reviewed. GAA President John Horan – whose term of office ends at Congress this weekend – confirmed today that the hope is that inter-county training, as well as juvenile activity, will be able to resume at that stage.

Assuming it does, then a four-week lead-time, during which training would be allowed to happen, would see inter-county matches getting underway in early May. That seems to be the best-case scenario for a return to play at inter-county level.

The outgoing GAA President also confirmed in that interview that the fixtures calendar may have to be looked at to determine what competitions should be held and when. For now, though, the association seems determined to stick with the current plans for a split season, with the inter-county action taking place first.

As a widespread Covid vaccine rollout draws ever nearer, we can all afford some idle thoughts about what a return to something approaching normality might entail. It could, according to John Horan in that piece linked above, yet see small numbers of supporters allowed in to see matches before this year is over.

A year on from when most of us saw any live action in the flesh that’s a rather alluring prospect. That and all the other stuff about everyday life that we took so much for granted but surely no longer will.

14 thoughts on “Early May now the likely start time for inter-county action

  1. Did I read somewhere Brits plan to have full capacity crowds for next season which would mean August , but in fairness they seem to be absolutely steam rolling the vaccine malarkey . From a selfish supporters POV, hope the championship is delayed like last year and we get a chance to attend this time. Honestly think it’s a very poor spectacle without big crowds , it may be an unpopular thing to say but it doesn’t really interest me .

    All still guesswork but I do get the feeling we are starting to turn a corner back to normality and yes full normality, 2022 will definitely be full flow .

  2. Just wondering if is likely North of the Border, that GAA games will resume much sooner than in the Republic?..My own guess is that they will … With a much faster roll out of the Vacine and a clear path already laid out by Borris Johnson, (If it works out that way?) for the return of sporting and other activities!..At least all the new information coming to us is very positive, as regards effecacy of Vacines already given to people, and even more Vacines awaiting approval for use.. Fair Play to all those involved in the Research and Development, and Scientific, and those who participated in the first human trials of the then untried Vacines, everyone involved.. They are truly life savers…

  3. The reason the NI Covid vaccine figures look so good is because they are based on first dosage only. Come July we will have caught up with them or even surpassed them. As for Johnson’s plan it’s only a UK government justification for Brexit and a distraction from their Covid death rates, which are one of the highest in the world. Now the Brits are booking their European sun holidays by the thousand, hope it works out for them

  4. Done Deal, Sean,
    Cheltenham did go ahead last year – with the usual big Irish turnout. Consequences???
    The Ireland v Italy Rugby match did not go ahead in Dublin but we still welcomed any Italian supporter who turned up in Dublin rather than lose his plane ticket and hotel booking. Consequences???

    I wonder did the GAA lose its Elite status because of the inane behaviour of many club supporters celebrating championship wins? Remember seeing Cork’s Blackrock supporters on TV after their final win?

  5. Leantimes/Yew Tree – I’m deleting both of those comments, for obvious reasons. There are plenty of other places online where you can debate the rights and wrongs of Ireland’s approach to Covid but I’d prefer to keep that discussion away from here. Leantimes – I’m going to have to issue you with a final warning on this as you’re repeatedly bringing up this topic here. Next time it’s going to be moderation for you, I’m afraid.

  6. Yew Tree – you’re obviously not listening to me. I know Covid can’t be kept completely out of the debate here, as it affects so deeply the playing of games, but Covid can’t be the topic of debate here. I thought I’d made that point sufficiently clear.

  7. Could the Mayo management and in particular all the players stay off all Media for this year , no more Tick Tok, facebook, or selfies or u tubes etc, let the County P.R.O. issue a statement whenever its needed on team selection injuries etc and leave it at that. For just this year no more rumours or leaks from the panel, just settle down to the job of bringing Sam to Mayo and when that is done , let them all enjoy it in whatever way they want. Just Win Sam First.

  8. I presume the Connaght U-20 has been shelved for the moment, i did not see anything official but think it was supposed to start early April. Hopefully it could still be ran at some stage maybe in late summer, that might not be a bad thing because the last few years the competition seems to have been downgraded and just played as if to get it out of the way. If played afeter intercounty players might get alonger time to prepare.

  9. Are there rules in place that stipulate there can only be one main sponsor of the county team.

    Surely sponsorship could be multiplied if say 15 companies were to say sponsor 3 players each.
    Just for arguments sake say 5,000 per player. Surely there are 15 companies that would Chomp at the bit to be associated with the team.

    Instead of laying the huge burden of one main sponsor at one company door I feel that multi company sponsorship would reap far greater rewards.

    At 5,000 a player for 45 players (or whatever a full panel is at the start of the year), that would be 225,000 towards the team.

    The players allocated to each company for sponsorship could be done on a drawn basis. So Mick’s pub or whoever could end up with Oisín Mullin or Lee Keegan or whoever is drawn out of the hat.

    Another draw then to decide whose company name goes on the jersies. A different company name for each match. Between league matches and a good championship run nearly all 15 sponsors would get their name in the sun.

    I would have a different sponsor for each and every game.

    That’s alot of jersies but after each match the jersies could be either raffled or, who wouldnt pay 100 euros for a mayo jersey involved in any match day. I’d say selling match jersies would likely yield another 2 or 3 thousand per match.

    It might sound absurd but I feel involving more companies and businesses and taking the burden off one main sponsor could yield three or four times the sponsorship that the team currently recieve.

  10. Mayo joe. Afraid your on a different planet if you think that the uk can be overtaken. By the end of June every adult in uk will have had a jab. Those 50+ plus will have their 2and jab.

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