The GAA may have to postpone the U17 and U20 All-Ireland championships, including Saturday’s U20 football final, as underage games are not permitted at Level 5 of Covid-19 restrictions.
As highlighted by theyesterday, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan’s latest letter on October 15 to Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly stressed the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) were allowing “senior inter-county” games to take place at the highest level of national Covid-19 restrictions.
However, in the latest update to Level 5 which begins at midnight tonight, there is no mention of 'senior', only an inter-county exemption is noted. However, speaking on Monday night, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the Government had taken their advice regarding the GAA from NPHET.
RTÉ this morning reported the Government have clarified that only senior matches — the concluding round of the Allianz Leagues this weekend and the Championship — can take place from tomorrow for the next six weeks.
The decision will cause major disappointment in the GAA where the U17 and U20 provincial championships have already begun and U20 Leinster hurling fixtures are set to take place this evening.
Dublin and Galway are due to contest the U20 All-Ireland final in Portlaoise this Saturday having beaten Tyrone and Kerry in their respective semi-finals last weekend.
A comment from the Department of Sport this morning to RTE Sport said the situation was still "being clarified".
"The government decision of Monday has resulted in many changes, including in sport. The matter is still being clarified.”
Read the full letter from Dr Tony Holohan to Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly here.