Five county finals called off as all GAA games in Cork are suspended

Five county finals called off as all GAA games in Cork are suspended

An empty main stand at Páirc Uí Chaoimh before last week's Newcestown v St Finbarr's clash in the Cork Premier SFC. Picture: Larry Cummins

THE GAA has taken the decision to suspend all matches at every level.

Following the huge increase in the number of Covid-19 cases and major concerns surrounding celebratory events after county finals, games from U6 up to senior are now on hold all over the country.

On Leeside that means the five county finals down for decision this weekend are off: 

LIHC: Castlemartyr v Russell Rovers; IFC: Mitchelstown v Rockchapel; PIFC: Kanturk v Knocknagree; SAFC: Éire Óg v Mallow; Premier SFC: Nemo Rangers v Castlehaven.

There also a number of underage deciders organised by Rebel Óg gone by the wayside, including a Premier 2 minor football clash between Castlehaven and Kanturk; plans for U13 and U15 leagues to run into November also go on hold.

Clubs will still be permitted to train per the current guidelines to minimise the spread of Covid-19. All club bars will have to shut.

In the past week, there has been heavy criticism on social media of the Glanmire and Blackrock clubs in Cork following their county final victories in minor football and senior hurling respectively.

The GAA will monitor developments from here, though the inter-county season, set to begin this month, now looks under serious threat.

The organisation’s Coiste Bainistí met this morning after a weekend where there were a number of well documented social distancing breaches involving post-match activities.

“The GAA’s Management Committee has today endorsed all GAA Club games at all levels with immediate effect and until further notice,” the statement reads.

“The decision has been taken in the interest of public safety following a number of incidents that have been brought to our attention in recent days. In particular, post-match celebrations and a lack of social distancing at certain events have proved disappointing and problematic.

“This directive applies to all ages and grades across the island. Club social centres/bars are also to close. Training will be continued to be permitted as per the guidelines outlined for the relevant levels in the Government’s National Framework for Living With Covid-19 and relevant guidelines in the Six Counties.

“The GAA will continue to monitor the situation in the coming days and weeks, regarding changes in government guidelines, before liaising with our units accordingly.

“The Association would also like to acknowledge all of those units who have worked diligently in complying with the public health advice around the staging of our games and training sessions since activity resumed. More than ever, we ask that you continue with this approach where training sessions for your players is continuing.” 

 The GAA’s statement follows one from the Cork County Board this morning in relation to celebrations.

“Our priority throughout the pandemic has been keeping our GAA community safe,” the Cork GAA executive stated.

“Anything that threatens that safety, and the very continuation of the game during COVID-19, needs to be avoided at all costs.

“To that end, we would plead with all clubs and supporters not to engage in celebrations that breach current guidelines. There will be county finals again next year – and we want to make sure COVID-19 does not rob some of the chance to enjoy them.”

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