Gardaí 'investigating all the circumstances' of West Cork GAA training breach

They have also revealed they are speaking to those Dublin senior footballers who trained at Innisfails GAA grounds on March 31
Gardaí 'investigating all the circumstances' of West Cork GAA training breach

File picture: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE

Gardaí have confirmed their Clonakilty station is “investigating all the circumstances” surrounding a potential Covid-19 breach by a West Cork GAA club team.

They have also revealed they are speaking to those Dublin senior footballers who trained at Innisfails GAA grounds on March 31.

Last month, the Irish Examiner reported a club in West Cork had been reported for collectively training, contrary to Level 5 restrictions.

At the time, the Gardaí stated they were carrying out inquiries into breaches but the latest news indicates the case has developed considerably. 

“Gardaí in Clonakilty are investigating all the circumstances of this incident,” the Garda press office stated.

Earlier this month, Cork GAA chairman Marc Sheehan said the board executive had established a sub-committee “to seek observations from a unit of the association in the county in relation to alleged Covid-19 training breaches. We will be dealing with this matter in due course.” 

Previously, the Cork executive had warned of the repercussion for any club found to have contravened the lockdown. “Public health guidance on training is very clear. Any club found to have been in breach of that guidance will face consequences as a result.” 

There is growing belief adult club teams in the 26 counties will be allowed to return to training from next month - those in the six counties received the green light last week. The 2021 Cork county championship draws will take place on Thursday week.

Meanwhile, Gardaí are also continuing their investigation of the reported training session attended by a number of Dublin senior footballers last month and they will be requesting the assistance of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP). 

“Gardaí are engaging with those present on the day. This matter is currently under investigation and the advices of the DPP will be sought on completion of the investigation.” 

Regulation 11 of amended Health Act 1947 places restrictions on training events - senior inter-county teams can return to collective training from Monday. 

The Gardaí have highlighted fixed payment notices will be issued if travel restrictions, which amounted to 5km from home at the time, have been breached.

Arising from the training session, Dessie Farrell’s 12-week ban means he will miss Dublin’s Allianz League campaign but should return before their Leinster SFC quarter-final, which is expected to take place in early July - the All-Ireland champions will learn their opponents in Tuesday’s provincial draw.

After Monaghan were found to have trained in Corduff last month, manager Seamus McEnaney’s similar suspension may prevent him from attending Monaghan’s opening Championship game, an Ulster SFC quarter-final. Having played Cavan in the preliminary round last year, Monaghan have received a bye to the last-eight but their campaign may begin in late June.

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