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Rainbow over Mallow GAA complex during the Cloughduv against Ballinameela during the AIB Munster club JHC final in 2018. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Rainbow over Mallow GAA complex during the Cloughduv against Ballinameela during the AIB Munster club JHC final in 2018. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
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GAA to reopen walkways around clubs from June 8 with plans in place to reschedule Cúl Camps

THE GAA has decided to ease restrictions on accessing walkways around clubs on June 8 and is also trying to facilitate Cúl Camps later this summer.

There is still no progress on opening up GAA pitches to allow club members to have a puck or kick around in small groups until Phase Four on July 20. That could be reviewed next month, however.

A statement ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend explained: "Should the country move to Phase Two as planned, GAA Clubs will be able to re-open designated walking tracks on June 8, subject to engagement with Croke Park around a facilities management plan."

The GAA doesn't envisage a return to training in small groups in Phase Two but the ongoing closure of pitches and playing areas may be reviewed ahead of Phase Three, on June 29.

The GAA also explained: "Progress has also been made in re-configuring the 2020 GAA Kelloggs’ Cúl Camps and subject to the country moving onto the next phase of its recovery, we will provide more details about this initiative."

However, a host of clubs in Cork have already cancelled their Cúl Camps this summer, such as Éire Óg, Ballincollig, Bantry and Bishopstown, over fears about being unable to comply with the strict guidelines around Covid-19. Numbers are likely to be capped at 100 children per camp, with various other restrictions on activities.

In Cork, the GAA camps are run by clubs whereas in the majority of counties they're operated by county boards.

The GAA plan on publishing its Return to Safe Activity Document in conjunction with the government's Phase Two.

This document will require approval from the government’s own expert group on Return to Sport.

A general view of Croke Park, with the Cusack Stand to the fore, during a HSE/GAA media walkabout of the testing facilities. Picture: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
A general view of Croke Park, with the Cusack Stand to the fore, during a HSE/GAA media walkabout of the testing facilities. Picture: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

"The GAA has stuck rigidly to the government’s plan and dates from the outset of this outbreak and will continue to do so, taking advice from medical experts and our own Advisory Committee," they explained.

"We re-affirm our position that no one is keener to return to games and general games-related activity but this will only be considered when it is acceptable to do so to maximise the safety and well-being of our players, members and wider society."