GAA Set to Signal Quicker return to Action

The GAA is expected to indicate later today that a return to activity and matches may be coming quicker than was originally thought.

The Cabinet met last night and will do so again and later today will give guidance towards a faster than originally planned easing of restrictions around how society organises itself.

Sport will be a key part of that with the GAA and FAI anticipated bringing forward their own public plans on a return to action.

It is possible that we will see clubs and pitches reopened before the end of June and it is also thought likely that a revised format of skills-based but lower contact Kelloggs Cúl Camps will also be permitted across the summer.

There could be a return to club action by August and it is also now a possibility that there will still be a modified All Ireland Championship season across the four main team sports of Gaelic Games.

The GAA’s COVID-19 Committee has been active in drawing up different scenarios around the potential for different return dates and while no one should get ahead of themselves with the spectre of a potential resurgence of the Coronavirus, there will be an understandable excitement at the fact that the year of 2020 may not yet be lost entirely.

The community that is the GAA is rarely slow in coming forward with opinion but those that have steered reaction to the shutdown have been cautious but methodical in answering the major challenges that have been posed.

The focus has been on public health and stadia around the country from Dublin to Cork, Kilkenny and many other points have been utilised in the medical battle as test centres.

Volunteers from almost 80 per cent of GAA clubs have cemented the place of the sport at the heart of wider communities through the Club Together initiative with Supervalu and Centra.

If the games can return there will be a sense of reward for having done the right thing.  It will be the same for football, rugby and every other sport.

Getting back onto pitches, slowly at first but with a visible horizon of normal activity will not be the answer to all the many challenges thrown at us over the past three months but it will re-energise the search for them.

For now, we wait, but at least we wait with hope.


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