Sport may shrink in significance in these unprecedented times but the sight of empty stadiums and speculation over the fate of previously ‘untouchable’ events as the Olympic Games and European Championships hammer home just how serious things have become.
After a decorated playing career Cork native Sarah Kelleher has carved out quite a reputation in the world of hockey coaching and business consultancy. Yet for all the plaudits and praise she has gained for her innovative approaches, the former Irish international has been overlooked for a number of high profile roles. "The top jobs," she says "invariably go to a man"
It was Thursday when the Regional Health Agency in the far north of France confirmed the first case of coronavirus in that neck of the woods, a student in the Regional Centre for Circus Arts having tested positive after arriving back in the region from Italy.
Picture the scene; Six Nations 2030, a packed stadium of 50,000 cheering fans, a large green pocket of Irish travelling fans surrounded by maroon shirts. Hold on, Maroon? It’s not that the Welsh shirts had a France shirt mixed up in the wash, it’s Georgia.
There’s never a good time to have a major disruption to fixtures involving a few countries, but one coming in a Rugby World Cup season is going to exacerbate the situation, with Ireland’s Six Nations clash with Italy on Saturday week set to be the first of many games impacted.