The “one size fits all” approach of the Government to outdoor sporting gatherings must be reconsidered, according to a Cork TD.
Sinn Féin’s Thomas Gould, who is also chair of St Vincent’s GAA club, has been expressing concern in recent weeks over a lack of clarity by the Taoiseach on the rule that limits the number of people at a GAA match to 200.
Players, officials, and media are included in that figure, which means only around 80 supporters can attend. However, Deputy Gould claims the Taoiseach wasn’t aware that was the case when questioned recently.
GAA clubs and supporters across the country had hoped the limit would be raised to 500 for outdoor gatherings during Tuesday’s announcement on the roadmap to recovery.
However, Deputy Gould has said the announcement to keep crowds to 200 is “a major blow”.
“Many have missed, and will continue to miss, opportunities to watch their children, grandchildren and clubs play because of these guidelines.
“With the announcement...it is absolutely vital that the Taoiseach now comes out and gives specific guidelines in relation to outdoor sporting event attendance. It is disappointing that the restrictions cannot be more nuanced and recognise the different capacities of venues,” Deputy Gould said.
“While some venues may require everybody in attendance to leave together, others have more than one entrance and distancing with increased numbers could still be facilitated.
“Sport is an important social outlet for so many people, particularly older people who have been affected so severely by this pandemic. With so much still not open, it is vital that we consider people’s mental wellbeing alongside their physical safety,” he added.
Deputy Gould has called for immediate clarity on the issue.
“The one-size-fits-all approach in terms of venue size needs to be reconsidered."