There was significant disappointment in the government announced yesterday that indoor dining was pushed back to an undetermined date and maybe then only for those who are fully vaccinated. We can only assume that there will be a recruitment campaign to get older people with a double jab working in the kitchens and on the floor.

Sport was not asking for much with activity levels rising, gyms and swimming pools open again, albeit with restrictions and around 20,000 being able to attend events this weekend at Croke park, other GAA grounds, the Aviva Stadium and Mount Juliet.

One hope had been that the already agreed rise in numbers attending games outside the pilot test events would kick in for the weekend rather than next Monday so that other matches could be played in front of 500 rather than 200 at grounds capable of holding ten times that number.

Maybe it just slipped between the cracks yesterday but this morning we can report the good news that the limit will be raised from Saturday.

“Small but important change for sporting events. The increase in spectator numbers is applicable from this Saturday, July 3rd to facilitate increased attendances at matches this weekend,” said Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers.

“Further proposals on increasing capacity and matches are being developed for July and August.”

Dublin’s defence of the All Ireland Football Championship gets underway at Chadwicks Wexford Park at 3-30 on Sunday, one of four quarter-finals in the Leinster Football Championship and Wexford’s moment in the spotlight will now at least be witnessed by more than the closest friends and family.

This has been a long journey of stopping and starting on the road back, but sport has been in a better place than those who are in the hospitality sector.

From a health perspective, we never want to do something that carries a real risk to the health of anyone but life is for living and the latest small increase is at least another positive step in the right direction, if smaller than what many are calling for.


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