GAA will open walking tracks but pitches to stay shut

As expected, the GAA will be in a position to open walking tracks at clubs on Monday week should the Government confirm the country can advance to phase two of its recovery roadmap.

As expected, the GAA will be in a position to open walking tracks at clubs on Monday week should the Government confirm the country can advance to phase two of its recovery roadmap.

The Government is expected to make an announcement on whether it is possible to move on to the second stage this day week, at which time the GAA could also release its return to safe activity document.

In a statement today, the GAA said its Covid-19 advisory group maintains that Gaelic games remains a phase four sport, which begins on July 20. However, it’s possible that may be brought forward to phase three, June 28. Likewise, Croke Park confirmed small pods of players could yet be permitted to train from phase three.

“Should the country move to phase two as planned, GAA clubs will be able to re-open designated walking tracks on June 8, subject to engagement with Croke Park around a facilities management plan,” the statement read.

“We do not envisage a return to training in small groups in phase two and pitches and playing areas are to remain closed. However, as per the Government roadmap, this may be reviewed in phase three.”

Compiled by the advisory group, the return to safe activity document will require approval from the Government’s own expert group. However, there is not expected to be much difficulty in that as there are members on both committees.

The GAA also confirmed it has been made progress in reconfiguring the Cúl Camps for this year. “Subject to the country moving onto the next phase of its recovery, we will provide more details about this initiative,” the statement continued.

“The GAA has stuck rigidly to the Government’s plan and dates from the outset of this outbreak and will continue to do so, taking advice from medical experts and our own Advisory Committee.

“We reaffirm our position that no one is keener to return to games and general games-related activity but this will only be considered when it is acceptable to do so to maximise the safety and well-being of our players, members, and wider society.”

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