GAA begins to bow to the inevitable on fixtures


The GAA has today finally accepted that its 2020 Championship fixture calendar – at both club and inter-county levels – cannot remain in place, due to the ongoing restrictions arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. The GAA’s statement issued today is here.

This is the first formal recognition from Croke Park that widespread changes to this year’s fixture list have to happen. Up until now, the only two matches to have been called off were the Galway/New York and London/Roscommon Connacht Championship ties. Indeed, the latter had merely been postponed, with only the Gaelic Park match scrapped altogether.

The GAA is now stating that it’s unlikely there’ll be any start to the inter-county Championships before the beginning of July at the earliest. When live action resumes, the GAA intends there to be club and inter-county Championship fixtures and, for good measure, they’re also holding onto the hope that this year’s remaining League fixtures might still be played off.

It’s not clear, though, why July has been referenced as a likely time for sport to be able to resume this year. First and foremost, it’s hard to see any matches being played until such time as the current strictures on mass gatherings and social distancing are lifted.

Government ministers have said in recent days that, even when the current rules on work and movement are eased, the social distancing measures are likely to have to remain in place for many months more, most likely until a Covid-19 vaccine becomes widely available. That could be well into next year.

I guess July is just being put out there now as a possible date when matches might resume, in the absence of anything more concrete to go on. That makes sense – up to a point – as it sketches out one scenario for what later in the year might look like for club and inter-county Championships.

It’s just one possible outcome, of course, for what still is an evolving situation, the trajectory and timeline for which remains shrouded in uncertainty. Ultimately, as Dr Anthony Fauci so correctly observed a few weeks back, it’s the virus itself that’s deciding on timelines right now. The GAA’s included.

55 thoughts on “GAA begins to bow to the inevitable on fixtures

  1. Why is the GAA going month by month I know they are getting advice from the HSE but this virus is here for many more months and social distancing is going to be in operation until a vaccine is produced. Are they planning to hold a championship behind closed doors that is probably the only option. I feel it is very unfair for players and management I think a decision will have to be made cancel all GAA matches this year or the only other option if possible to play behind closed doors forget about any games with spectators it is not going to happen

  2. They might get to play matches in July but in all probability they might very well be played behind close doors as it’s hard to see the Government allowing mass gatherings this year. We’d all like to see the games back but not at the expense of lads that are mixing in training and playing games picking up the virus and bringing it home. I have no doubt when July comes if the virus is still around the GAA will do the right thing and put it’s players first

  3. What planet are the powers of the GAA on if they expect players to perform behind closed doors and put their own health at very high risk, please respect the players.

  4. Yeah, Even in July, it’s optimistic… Player’s, Team’s would need some collective training before they could be expected give their best..I think that if were deemed unsafe for crowd’s to gather, it’s almost certainly unsafe for upwards of 30+ at a minimum to gather in a dressing room…. Love to believe it is possible, maybe it is, but at the moment seems like a Longshot…. Hope I’m wrong!

  5. Hope everyone is keeping safe.

    I wonder even if there was a significant improvement in the Virus situation over the next couple of months, would there be an appetite for football this year after what the country and indeed all countries have, and are going through. I would be more inclined to assign 2020 to the history books and let everyone have the year away from the game and come back in to competition in 2021 with a bang. That’s assuming that the virus has been dealt with by then and a vaccine is in place.

    Moving resumption dates forward by a month and then another month or two, while I can see, is been done in hope, can become monotonous, and I think every time this happens leads to despondency more than hope.

  6. They are only kicking the can down the road, there is no way there can be any GAA activity in 2020.
    Even if its behind closed doors you are not taking the players best welfare into concern.
    The dressing room scenario with 30plus lads in there, the tightness of marking during a game, the spitting, the water bottles, the physios, referees etc.. There is do much risk on the field until a vaccine can be found.
    Trying to play games behind closed doors, who will police the grounds?
    People will climb walls to get in to watch games..
    Call it all off now and let people concentrate on more important issues in our lives right now

  7. I wouldn’t be too hard on the GAA, as Tuamstar said they are just kicking the can down the road for now which is all anyone is doing. No one knows at this stage when restrictions will be loosened or lifted but as others have said it is highly unlikely mass gatherings will be permitted for months to come. I cant see the GAA playing games behind closed doors, other professional sports will have to go that route because of tv contracts, players contracts etc professional sport is a business but the GAA is amateur, its all about community and it would be wrong to play in empty stadiums. Whatever the outcome I know I will not be attending any matches this year, this virus will be with us for the long haul until effective treatment is developed and I wont be attending any matches or mass gatherings until then. People will need to think before putting themselves at risk, your health is far more important than a football game.

  8. Anyone else trying to figure out why Sweden hasn’t had disastrous consequences compared to ourselves , they have taken a very light approach to restrictions but have around 1,000 less cases per million of population compared to Ireland . I’m not saying they are right or wrong , perhaps there’s some demographics in their favour I dunno , just asking is it possible the decision to lock a country down per se might not make much of a difference to eventual outcome ?

  9. Sean Burke, Sweden had 114 deaths yesterday and have a higher death per capita than Ireland. Don’t look at the cases per population as a comparison its skewed given countries have different testing strategies. The lighter approach is not working for them and the death rate is starting to tick up. They’re now talking about having to impose tighter restrictions.

  10. I wouldn’t be critical of the GAA….there are many self proclaimed experts out there who seem to know exactly what will happen when in truth nobody knows.

    No sporting organization has come out yet and said “right we are suspending all activity until 2021”.

    All your local club players are training away by themselves keeping fit and ready to go if and when action can be resumed…we all need hope and I think incremental stages (like July) to aim for is the right thing to do.

  11. And 170 today I have just read . Perhaps they did take the wrong route but again I’m not totally convinced at this stage , at what point do you return to normality without some kind of risk . Waiting for every single person to get a vaccine , could be 2022 according to some reports this morning . It’s just not possible imho to sustain these type of restrictions without massive consequences and probably leading to equal or greater loss of life through mental health issue and economic doom for lots of people . Think you’d have to give people some hope of light at the end of the tunnel by discussing how the normalisation process works , exit strategy type stuff . The doom and gloom can only go on so long before people start to crack .

  12. What about the differences in approach by the governments in Northern Ireland and the Republic?

    Surely this will have an impact on any All-Ireland form of competition…

  13. Sean Burke, I think Ireland has acted in the correct manner up to now, yes Sweden placed lighter restrictions which may or may not work, time will tell. The UK took a similar approach in the beginning and look where they are now (a word beginning with F comes to mind). There will be some relaxation of restrictions possibly in May which will allow sectors return to work on a phased basis (under strict social distancing rules), its not feasible to close down any country indefinitely. No one can say at this point how the “normalisation process” will work simply because no country knows yet how the virus will react to the removal of restrictions. I think people need to realise there will be no such thing as back to normal, this virus will be part of daily life until effective treatment is found, social distancing will be long term in some share or form, this will include social events like football matches, pubs etc. Yes people need a bit of light at the end of the tunnel but they need to accept the new reality as well, we will be dealing with this situation for a long time to come.

  14. I have to laugh at some posters saying that this is a football blog only.
    There is no football at the moment and unfortunately probably none this year.
    Imagine the Referee trying to implement social distancing during a game later in the Summer or Autumn, 2 metres from any player even the opponent during a game, no spitting, no sweating, gloves and masks on all players and officials.
    It might be good to have a year out, no football at all, the Dubs surely wouldn’t get 6 in a row.

    When all restrictions will be lifted, Sports and Schools will be the last on the list, expect Carden Centres, all shops, Cafes to be gradually opened up in May and June.

  15. I think if we start comparing ourselves to the worst case’s in terms of handling this, we will always look good in comparison!..I think we should compare ourselves to the countries who have handled the situation best of all. . Taiwan, New Zealand, in Europe, Greece and Poland seems to be much better than most, if their metrics are accurate… Austria by Comparison with their neighbors to the South, Italy (Northern Italy in Particular which is the area worst affected, seems to be doing much better, even taking the first tentative step’s back to a new normal… Portugal is doing much better than their near neighbours Spain… Norway is doing better than their near neighbours by a factor of 10… Germany, although very similar to the many in terms of numbers infected, the percentage of those dieing to date is a fraction of their neighbors, with the exception of Austria and Poland…In my opinion, we need to do more of what the very best Countries are doing, and NOT compare ourselves to the worst…No prizes for coming second last in this one… But coming in the very best would be very fine achievement!…. It’s what we should be aiming for…As for Sport, the GAA game’s or any other field Sport being played behind closed doors, it doesn’t do anything for me personally….The ‘Crowd’ is an integral part of the whole thing…. Even if I wasn’t born in Mayo, concievably I would support Mayo, if for no other reason than the mighty crowd’s the bring to game’s…Many thousands of other Counties Supporter’s follow the Fortune’s of Mayo and I believe mostly it’s because of the magnificent crowd’s they regularly attract…It will happen again, but it might be in 2021.

  16. I think for 1 year only we could change it up a bit.

    Each County pick a skills team. Say 7 or 8 per team.

    A point kicking competition from different distances, different sides of the pitch. Divide it up. Kicking from the hands.
    Kicking off the turf.

    The 7 or 8 from each county must all participate in this.

    A cic fada competition. 2 kickers from each team. Again off the turf and from the hands.

    Add in a couple of other skill based exercises.

    Have both individual and team awards.

    Competition to be held in any Pitch in the Country as no fans attending.

    Televise the whole competition live.

    Run it over a few days.

    Individual skills winners are the all stars.

    Team with the highest tally are the 2020 All Ireland champions.

    All counties participate.

    A real opportunity for some of the weaker counties to taste the glory.

    No close contact required and the sports starved public would all be tuned in.

  17. Leantimes – I don’t think many Taiwan or Austrian lads went off to Cheltenham last month. Tens of thousands went from this country despite knowing the risks involved. I personally know of one man from Mayo who tested positive upon returning and was very shook by the virus.

  18. There might not even be football for a period in 2021 I’m thinking.
    No harm, much more important things.

  19. For me, all inter county competition should be postponed for 2020 and write it off. Then you give an outside chance of some football for clubs. If you got August to November free to play games then you would have enough time to run off a league and championship, and, with all clubs having their county players available to them the standard would be very high.
    Much smaller attendance numbers to control, smaller distances to travel etc.
    Plus, I’d imagine by July we will have our testing and tracing down to a fine art with very quick turnaround times.

  20. Play the championship. Start in mid July (that’s 3 months away). Conduct a new draw (no seedings). Knock out/no back door. Winner on the day. No replays except for semi final or final (to be played in October). As soon as a team is out leaves county free to focus on clubs.

    That is IF the GAA gets the nod of approval from health authorities etc.

  21. I don’t think there will be any football played this year but if and its a big if approval was granted to resume sporting activities then I would have to agree with Pebblesmeller, what time that will remain should be given to the clubs where all GAA players will be given an opportunity to play and not shoe horn in club activities to the depths of winter which is what normally happens. The focus should not be on elite competitions where only a minority of players take part but on the GAA community as a whole. There would be smaller crowds with little cross country travel by supporters. GAA are always spouting on about how the clubs are the heart and soul of the GAA, well now is the time to prove it.

  22. Agree Pebblesmeller who knows whats around the corner but I cannot see any intercounty this year, even if there was would anyone want to go where there is thousands of people from different parts of the country congregating. If possible and given the green light by the relevant authorites if club activity could be played in some part it would be something. With club teams at full strength with all there county players it could be a badly needed outlet for people to go and see these games and even still there would not be big crowds.
    What about clubs allowed go back training third week in August (again hypothetical and hopeful) have 2 weeks training and then play 2 or if both teams can facilitate 3 league games in the next 2 weeks. The league could be restructured into 2 halfs such as 2A and 2B with 6 teams each so you only play 5 games, top team in each group promoted, bottom team in each group relegated.
    Anyway back to dreamland after the 2 or 3 league games played which could also serve to prepare for championship which then starts run off week after week so all group games over by 3rd weekend in September ( no replays all games finish on the day). Your quarters/semis/final and relegation playoffs all played by middle of October. All that’s left then is 3 or 4 league games all done by the middle of November. Sure haven’t we often been finishing leagues in Christmas week !!!
    Strict rules regarding numbers in attendance at games to ensure social distancing, dressing rooms to remain closed, come togged and go home the same way, players travel in cars individually where possible. If big crowds expected e.g. county final restrict it to club members of competing teams only in attemdance.. Mayo gaa tv to stream more games….
    Now I am just waiting for croke park to give me a call to sort everything else out for them….!!

    Before I get lynched I am being hypothetical, hopeful and having a bit of crack, in these times we are in I think it can be important to have hope that eventually we may get back to what we enjoy. Stay safe everyone

  23. Leo has stated today that unwinding of restrictions will take months which may not start in May, he doesn’t expect college students to return until October/November. Judging by the timelines he is talking about there isn’t a hope in hell anything like football matches will be approved this year.

  24. People say a vaccine before we can go back to normal like pubs , restaurants and more relevant to here big sporting occasions .

    I don’t think that’s how it will pan out at all , if you get to very small number of cases and this R is at something as low as 0.2/0.1 you will see a return to normality for most . Champions league final is been pencilled in for august 29th for example .

    This might sound harsh but if we get to that stage perhaps there might be a certain amount of vulnerable people who wil still have to stay at home or simply people choose to stay at home if they don’t feel safe . I think we will have to learn how to live alongside the threat . What do I mean by that, if I was going to a game in a situation like I’ve mentioned , I’d wear a mask , I’d bring a couple pairs of gloves , have hand sanitizer in my pocket .

    Again some will say wearing a mask will make no difference, disagree with you and the experts who say different. Sit in a stadium with everyone wearing a mask and one with nobody wearing one and then do tests a few days later , I’d bet my life on it the non mask stadium will be ten fold with the virus .

  25. Sean Burke. I agree with you we will have to get back to some normality before a vaccine is produced but I dont think GAA is going to be in that list.Yes i think when the cases are low which we are getting there and certain restrictions be reduced it might come to the stage we have to wear masks but how can you control that at a gaa match.Also players has to be taken into consideration. A idea and as I have said I personally dont think we will have a championship but would it be possible to reduce capacity at matches and scan people temperatures going in they are doing it at certain parts of the world.

  26. No dressing room is big enough to accommodate, team, subs and all back up staff involved in a safe environment, also are players to keep their distance of 2 metres and not contest or tackle the opposition ??.

  27. “There will be no inter county football for two years and these are the facts “

    Facts and opinions are different . Very different . No depression here at all , preparing to go back to work after may weekend and sub contractors in construction expecting a big shortage of workers for the amount of work that’s to be caught up on . Plenty of work picking strawberries too if you’re lookin for a start .

    Decrease in rise of cases again today . Stay positive man ffs .

  28. My God Alan, you are painting a very depressing picture for us.
    Here are a few things to lift everyone.
    Two Coffee shops at a Dublin Shopping Centre were open today for food / drinks to go, no sitting in, those same Coffee shops were fully closed for the past 3 weeks.
    The Dubs wont get the 6 in a row.
    Many Shops to open on 5th May.
    The Gaa making their decision making group much smaller as from today, they might give the Dubs Sam this year without playing a single game.
    Should all paid Gaa members have their Salaries suspended and paid the Covid 19 rate ?.
    Should all paid up Gaa members in clubs throughout the Country get their membership fees back ?
    We can live without trying to win the All Ireland this year.

  29. Anyways, Alan, your picture is far too pessimistic, commerce and life will always find a way, in time this virus will have worked through the population and taken its toll but it will run its course at some point, and a vaccine will come along, too much money to be made by the big companies that develop such things for this not to happen. Sadly I agree with the point of no sports for a long time to come. For now we must enjoy the basics and let it all rebuild over time.
    Best wishes to everyone and lets stick together.

  30. @Alan,.. There actually IS a Vacine for the ‘Ebola Virus’, which is not a ‘Corona-Virus’ like ‘Covid 19’… There are Several possible Vaccines already for ‘Covid 19’ but it’s a long drawn out process to licence and mass produce such a Vacine, it’s benifits have to be proven to outweigh the risks before it can be used on the Masses of Population!..In fact scientist’s are now testing the Vacine for the Ebola Virus, for effectiveness on Covid 19, with some hopeful early indications… The Vacine for Tuberculosis has also shown some promise, even though Tuberculosis is caused by Bacteria and the Covid 19 is caused by a Virus… Countries who have used the BCG vaccination on it’s populations for decades seems to be doing better than Countries who haven’t, or have stopped doing so in recent decades!… There is plenty of optimistic developments out there, it’s only a matter of time before the break through come’s…In the meantime all eyes have to be on Denmark and Austria…I wish them well in their endeavors…We are all in a time where we have to learn from each other like never before!.. So I with those who reckons you are being too pessimistic!

  31. Alan, you cant just say “I have spoken to a few experts” and then present your opinions as facts. If you have proof backing up claims then attach a link, state the names of these “experts”, is the member of the VFI a senior spokesman for the organisation or your local bartender? Plenty people posting various opinions all over social media, some are sensible others outrageous. Like yours, without evidence all are just opinions.

  32. Parts of the US today in full swing , pics of Florida beach packed out for example . Without sounding too crass these places will be a good dummy run for the rest of the world .

  33. I have no idea what is going to happen over the next few months and I suspect most contributors to this forum are the same.
    It seems that some form of social distancing is going to be part of life until a vaccine is readily available. On that basis I don’t believe they will allow any large gathering of people this year. So intercounty football as we knew it seems unlikely. Playing games behind closed doors is problematic as has been described previously.
    It’s hard for the authorities (government or the GAA) to come straight out and kill any hopes we have. Their approach I suspect is to let reality slowly sink in. My approach is to take everything as it comes – and deal with it one day at a time.
    Keep safe and keep going as best you can.

  34. looking like no football and no pub pints in 2020 at any stage. It’s ok (ish)now because the days are longer and bright but imagine 8 o’clock of a Saturday night in October being forced to look at a damn Telly in the house? Will the premier league be gone too? Even behind closed doors? Crazy to think how the minds will be by Christmas if there’s no sport between now and then.

  35. Dave, there probably will be sport on tv by winter but most likely sport where social distancing can be achieved. Be prepared for channel after channel of golf, snooker, darts and if we are really desperate, cricket.

  36. Alan – it’s clear to me now that you’ve wandered into the wrong place as this isn’t a site to be posting that kind of conspiracy theory stuff. I’m sure you’ll find some other place online that’s far more amenable to that particular line of thought.

  37. In relation to pubs not re-opening in 2020 I think certain comments by Simon Harris yesterday are being taken out of context. This is mainly due to media just coming up with click-bait headlines. What he actually said was in relation to maximum capacity. There’s a big difference between Temple Bar/Camden Street haunts on a Saturday night and a large quiet country pub with substantial beer garden space

    Pubs will open in 2020 there is zero doubt about that. However it won’t be a case of restrictions lifted one day and everything back to normal. Anyone expecting hundreds crowded into Copper Face Jacks anytime soon are on the naive side. Instead what will likely happen at first is a gradual easing, with limited opening times, probably pre-bookings/members only, no gimmicks/no tvs/no music, table service only etc – oh and an inflated cost for the privilege.

    Closing pubs completely until a vaccine just is not feasible, for one thing barely any will ever re-open again. Pub owners and their staff still have mortgages to pay and like them or not they are a huge part of Irish culture – and taking crowds away from pubs will just ensure they congregate elsewhere, like at house parties and the likes where no contract tracing will be possible and this will be – quite frankly – much more disastrous. Like with anything they will just have to be operated differently, similar to every single workplace in the country to some extent.

    What I’m most fascinated about is how schools are going to be operated

    Back to championship and I’ll say it again – and in defence of the GAA – it is actually an extremely difficult period right now to predict anything. The internet like with anything is full of scaremongering (sadly seems to even have creeped into this very thread, but great to see action taken with posts deleted) and also completely blind optimism too. But no-one can predict anything months down the line with even an ounce of certainty.

    Right now we’re only mere months into a brand new pandemic, we’re (apparently) experiencing the peak right now in Ireland (or maybe even have experienced it), and its still so new that naturally all sorts of thoughts and doom forecasts are going through our mind. But certain indications are positive, from listening to the CMO on the Late Late and indeed other sources. Other European Countries are well on their way to easing restrictions. Its hard to believe its actually only just over a month since schools closed. It seems like three times that timeframe

    Cast your mind forward to July. And lets think positive. Three added months of research, and potentially three months on from the peak in Ireland. Our mindsets will be a LOT different. I don’t mean complacent but three months away is a seriously long time, to improve testing to learn a lot more about immunity, transmission, treatments and so on. All going well the numbers infected could be much more manageable by then on an ongoing basis. However they certainly won’t be zero nor will be for a long, long time

    and that in itself begs the question – what would be needed to resume team contact sports? Not even the crowd element but even getting matches played again in the first place. There’s too much money in soccer to let it wallow away but the GAA is an intriguing one. Because waiting for zero nationwide cases over a consistent period of time could mean actually waiting years. But as I say I’d expect we’ll know far more by the summer

    This may read a bit selfish, that getting GAA back for our own entertainment is paramount – I personally have much more things to worry about than championship going ahead – but it must be remembered that to some people GAA is their livelihood, and the mental health, well-being, and social benefits to participants just cannot be discounted. This was a reason given by Harris yesterday for potential restricted May/June school openings. But GAA is indeed a good bit down the scale in terms of importance , however it will be intriguing to see what ‘metrics’ (for lack of a better term) will be used to determine a case for re-starting it again. X% community transmission, same day testing etc – who knows

    For what its worth, no I don’t see inter-county this year, but I would be cautiously optimistic something can be worked out for club. There will be tweaks you can bet on it. Severely reduced crowds, players travel separate, turned up togged out etc.

    But all we can do is wait and see

  38. Good post Ciaran . Totally agree on the unknown aspect , even these guys who are working night and day , experts in their field , all over the world, they are learning everyday and are still aspects unknown. What I will do though is defend the masses and the reactionary response through various social media . The reason I’ll do that is because I have listened or read for example to different opinions on vaccine from qualified people , one said there could be a vaccine by as early as September and there was one on yesterday on sky news who seemed to be very well respected etc who said there was no guarantee there would ever be one that worked . How do you expect lay people like ourselves to react ? I mean after listening to that buck yesterday morning , although he was calm , rational and very intelligent but he left you thinking there was a slight possibility this was the start of the end of mankind ffs.

    Personally I’m going to switch off from listening to covid19 news for a few days now .

    Just for a bit of real info though , the CIF (construction governing body) have an online induction course for all construction workers to complete for an expected gradual return to work after the 5th of May .

  39. Yeah there’s a serious amount of information out there Sean, can be difficult not to get overwhelmed! But as I say I’d imagine in a few months time the picture will become a lot clearer. After 3 months of the virus in China some interesting findings are emerging. There are studies ongoing in Italy right now as to immunity levels – Italy was the first real euro country affected and now the virus has been with them a significant time reliable studies can start to be implemented

    Yeah I’ve little doubt restrictions will be eased somewhat the 5th and probably another easing again coming into June and so on. If nothing else the government are well and truly relying on public cooperation , so once the numbers don’t get out of control again, it will be difficult to keep ensuring the whole population continues to adhere to these strict measures. Unfortunately from my own anecdotal evidence I can already see people becoming a bit more reckless but I would emphasize this is still a significant minority

    But I suppose in keeping with the topic of the thread, I’d imagine it’ll be a while before matches go ahead. Interesting to see do collective training sessions get the go ahead though during summer – obviously with tailored restrictions . They may need to wait on reliable studies that correlate collective outdoor exercise and transmission though. So it’s all still very early to speculate but even in the coming weeks we should know a lot more.

  40. Actually have any of the countries that are easing restrictions given the go ahead to any sporting activity or collective training sessions as of yet? Even collective recreational physical activity – like 5 asides, access to tennis courts etc

    Would be an interesting guide as to when Ireland might go down this path

  41. Lads and Ladies, forget about going out to the pubs for a few months, buy in Supermarkets and drink at home in the comfort of your houses much cheaper, as the the new Irish are doing.
    Many pubs have been struggling to stay open for years now, Covid19 will seal their fate.

  42. @Cíaran, Actually Bayern Munich are in collective training for one, but I don’t think it’s full contact or close contact… One of their player’s was actually fined for driving the wrong car to training, so the discipline required is being monitored….Simon Harris doesn’t know when or whether the Pubs will be opening? …On March 10th, on RTE Prime Time, Harris said that the GAA league Match’s and League of Ireland Soccer Match’s could go ahead,
    the following weekend, (14th/15th The Weekend Galway were to host Mayo) provided Covid 19 Signage was in place, and an area in case anyone should become ill due to the Virus! .I think whatever and whenever and how the ‘New Normal’ returns will have allot to do with how, Austria, Denmark and from today Germany get on, as they put their toes in the water as to how to return to something more sustainable! ..I know Facemasks are compulsory in some Countries, they won’t protect yourself 100%, but, would offer some protection to other’s should you be an asymptomatic carrier of the Virus, for example doing your shopping… They weren’t recommended early on in the Crisis, but are being now more and more as time goes on, …A, Mayo, most definitely best option or (Everton, Liverpool or Ireland any of them, don’t even have a Sports connection at all, would do just as well) scarf around your mouth would do the trick if you had to do your shopping…Its phycoglical as well and would give reassurance to others..I wouldn’t suggest that using a Hospital Grade Facemask, should you be able to would be the right thing to do right now, while there is a Worldwide PPE shortage, and priority has to be given to those working on the front line saving lives….Ways and Means have to be found, and will be found, be in no doubt…I think that in allot of Asian Countries, Facemasks were the norm for a majority in the big Cities, (mostly for air pollution caused by traffic in those densly populated Cities) maybe, it seems logical to me that this fact in itself has helped the likes of South Korea, and Taiwan, in their excellent fight against this Virus!… We have to learn from those who are doing the best, based on scientific evidence,and equally we have to ignore some of what other’s, less inclined to reason are doing!

  43. As regards the resumption of football.

    Players should be fully confident about playing the game without running the risk of picking up the virus or spectators picking up the virus.

    There is no mind boggling science here.

    If there is a chance that contact might happen through attending a sporting fixture (which might lead to serious illness or death), then that event should not take place.

    Life is essential. Sport is not.

    “A mask or a scarf might / should help”. Not good enough.

    I wouldn’t resume any sporting activities until either.

    1) The virus has fully cleared.


    2) A proven cure for the condition has been unveiled.

    No sporting event is even close to the worth of even one human life.

  44. @Revillino, Only suggesting the use of a scarf in the case of essential thing’s like doing your nessary shopping!… Most people probably have a scarf of some type, and not taking up the use of professional PPE, more needed in Hospital and Care Home settings. Every One Percent taken off the transmission rate, is One Percent less and worth doing! Mass gatherings of any type will require more positive developments, and definitely much further down the line… But little step’s at first!

  45. @Leantimes.

    I enjoyed your post and I wasn’t having a dig at you, although I can see how it might look like that when I mentioned the scarf. Yes, my own better half has the scarf well wrapped around the nose and mouth when she is shopping or going for a stroll.

    I can see as well where someone might be coming from when talking about getting back to some type of normal life.

    My point is. When should we walk away from the “essential” criteria that was laid down by the government.

    Pressure starting to come now from the Vintners now. Understandable from their point of view, as their bread and butter going down the drain.

    The question then becomes. When does the definition of essential suddenly become less essential. Should the economy trump lives ?

    Very tough decisions lie ahead for governments and organisations.

  46. “I wouldn’t resume any sporting activities until either.
    1) The virus has fully cleared.
    2) A proven cure for the condition has been unveiled.”

    I fully appreciate the sentiment however and I’m fully in favour of no championship this year however – realistically – it is sadly not beyond the realms of possibility that both of these could be years away from happening, if ever.

    The realistic scenario is that the world will have to develop suitable means of living in tandem with the virus, while negating its impact in the best way possible. In ideal circumstances the world would stay in full lock-down until the thing eventually dies out but this is in no way feasible – hence why restrictions are already being lifted in various countries. That said stuff like GAA matches returning will be way down the list of priorities but as a lot more research and education emerges in the months ahead, more informed decisions can be made on recreational activities and sporting events returning

    There will obviously be no way matches return while there is still a widespread threat out there, or while testing and contact tracing is still well in its infancy. It cannot be emphasised enough how early we are in this whole situation though, and what a difference even the next few weeks will make. The amount of research and studies being done and the amount of advancements being worked on with regard to the virus is absolutely unprecedented and on an absolutely ginormous scale

  47. @Revellino, I wouldn’t fancy a Scarf around my mouth and nose for an entire Championship Match on a hot Summer day.. The Scarf is only for Winter and Spring League Match’s in offically the coldest Stand in the World, orienteeed so as the wind blows straight into it 90% of the time! … The Dubs were complaining of the Cold as the downed their Pint’s in the Sportlann underneath their ‘Five in a Row’ Balloons….’Sure it’s not remotely Cold at all, what’s wrong with ye, you should get a Mayo scarf , they are very warm, that auld Blue Scarf match’s the color of yer nose’s’ I wish I said…It’s not all that long ago, but seems like a different lifetime….. War time, doesn’t have allot to recommend it, but it is a great time for inventions…. And so it will be too, in this time of a Global War against an unseen enemy…. The technology for old Massey Fegurson 20, and 35 as well Nylon came from the Second World War….I was in ‘Colditz’ it’s near Dresden, where allot of the prisoners of war were held during WW2, the prisoners imprisoned actually taught that the War could go on for 40 year’s more…It was absolutely amazing what human intelligence can do. Out of their Red Cross Rations, which were thing’s like tinned Corn beef, Cigerattes, Bars of Chocolate and Soap, the prisoners made a Radio where they could pick up the BBC, from the Corks of Wine Bottles, the cultured some type of bacteria that would rot the timber in the roof of Colditz Castle very quickly, and actually made German Army Uniforms and just marched out of Colditz Castle, in front of their German Captors, and actually made it back to Belgium (a group of Belgian Army Officers done that amazing feat)…I have great faith in the intelligence, intelligent people and there are several millions of them in the World… Breakthrough’s will come, might come in small steps or maybe a big breakthrough might come… But come they… It’s up to us, the people to make sure we make best use of the intelligence already there, and the new stuff when it comes!

  48. Great post leantimes and I’ll be reading it again too. Your a mind of information. Fair play to those Belgian officers.

    @Ciaran. Maybe I should have said vaccine instead of cure.

    It is the people that determine the enormity of destruction of this virus attack. Easing restrictions will most definitely lead to more transmissions and sadly more deaths.
    In some instances and in some parts of the world (depending on what restrictions are lifted) the number of cases will in my opinion start to increase again. I hope I am wrong.

    In an ideal World (hypothetical), if every last being in the world self isolated, then there would be no case of the virus left in a matter of weeks.

    A world population self isolating unfortunately is not possible so our next best option is to take every possible step within our power to keep as many people as possible from succumbing to the virus until a proven vaccine comes along or until the virus runs its path of destruction, whichever comes first.

    There is certainly a vaccine for the virus on its way. Nobody knows for sure when it will get the green light but it will happen, and most probably within 18 months.

    Economic hardship is hard to take and sporting spectacles are missed by all, but any family that have lost a loved one, from the 10’s of thousands who have died around the world, would gladly shoulder these hardships to have their loved ones back with them again.

  49. We can not expect amateur players to participate in a contact sport in the current climate.Lets see what the GPA are made of now, or will money win over

  50. sure most of the players will want to play if it is reasonable safe, I would if I was still able to play . Nobody knows what is ahead of them , you just cant sit in the house all the time ,only thing certain in this life is you pay taxes and then you die , nobody has survived yet

  51. Government talking of banning mass gatherings until August/September (sensible decision). That pretty much puts an end to any hopes the GAA has for Intercounty Championships this year. At this stage they will be lucky to complete the league on a behind doors basis.

  52. MayoMad I saw that on the Irish Independent but it said it doesn’t apply to sports events thought I imagine the Government will add sports events to that list

  53. Recently an online special GAA congress was held with a representative from each County. Were we represented and has our representative been elected to any special board arising from such meeting?

    Just anxious as I recall 2014 when that decision was made to replay Kerry in Limerick if my memory serves me correctly an ex Kerry Co. Board Chairman was the then Chairperson of the fixtures commitee in Croke Park.

    Like you all I will wash my hands but not of this matter!

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