Tipperary GAA fixtures chief Tom Maher is mystified by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s admission that he didn’t know players and team officials would be included in the restricted capacity of 200 people for outdoor events.
That figure is set to remain in the 26 counties until August 10 at least, although Martin assured fellow TDs on Tuesday that the Government would try and respond to the restriction in a "positive but safe way" having revealed his surprise that the participants are included in the 200.
Maher, Tipperary’s competitions control committee secretary, said: “I was shocked. I don’t expect the Taoiseach or any leader of a political party to know every single iota but he or she needs to be told things and I was surprised he wasn’t told. He’s a GAA man and his son plays for Cork and that shouldn’t mean anything but someone should have told him.
“It’s an important issue for people to be able to get out as much as it is humanly possible to get out and increasing the limits to 500 would allow more of that.
"200 is nothing when you take in players, officials, stewards, the press and whoever else. It usually leaves about 100 for spectators and that speaks for itself.”
Maher admits the online streaming of hurling championship games in Tipperary last weekend alleviated the difficulty posed by the crowd limit - the county showed four matches while clubs were permitted to show others on their Facebook pages.
“It went smoother than we would have thought but then people are responsible enough and they know they can’t go to games unless they have a ticket.”
The Moyne-Templetuohy man appreciates there won’t be change until after the coming August Bank Holiday weekend but would hope for good news from the National Public Health Emergency Team some time next week.
“I’m not woefully confident they will do anything before August 10. I’d be shocked to the gills if they don’t do it on August 10 unless there is a horrendous outbreak in the meantime that would scuttle it.
“We have a pandemic and a lot of us are getting on in age and have to be careful but we can’t stifle the country either. We have to mind ourselves but getting out into the open air is healthy.
"I fully accept we have to have some restrictions but the ones that are there on outdoor events at the moment are just penal, really.”