All GAA facilities in Cork closed to limit social interaction during Covid 19 battle

All GAA facilities in Cork closed to limit social interaction during Covid 19 battle
Jimmy Brohan (and Frank Murphy look as Simon Coveney and Micheál Martin enjoy some hurling fun at the official opening of the Jimmy Brohan Hurling Alley in Blackrock, 2017. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

GAA facilities and amenities in all clubs on Leeside and across Ireland are now off-limits to members.

While official training and matches were cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak, players were able to use clubs to have a kick-around or puck-around, and in some cases for walking and jogging, provided they weren't in groups.

A statement on the GAA's website explained the new situation. 

"We previously advised that, until March 29, games and training were suspended, club gyms were to close, and Player Injury Fund cover was suspended. We subsequently instructed that club bars should also close for the period.

"Please be advised that, in line with recent government announcements, these measures and closures are now extended to Sunday, April 19 inclusive, at which stage arrangements will be reviewed.

"In addition, we are now instructing GAA Clubs to close their facilities completely. This is to include the use of all pitches and property for recreational purposes, including walking, casual games or gatherings.

"Where it is not possible to restrict access please erect signage to the effect that all GAA facilities are closed and all activity suspended."

The start of the sport race at Castlehaven GAA grounds in the SCAR Skibbereen Charity Adventure Race run by Skibbereen Lions Club, last winter. Picture: Denis Minihane.
The start of the sport race at Castlehaven GAA grounds in the SCAR Skibbereen Charity Adventure Race run by Skibbereen Lions Club, last winter. Picture: Denis Minihane.

The GAA is advising clubs to continue to accept membership to enable them to get back operating efficiently when the current health crisis is over, as well as running club lottos as fundraisers on an 'online basis'.

"In order to facilitate an orderly resumption of activities when circumstances permit, Clubs are encouraged to proceed as normal with their membership registration process where practical. Clubs, of course, should be mindful of the possible changed financial circumstances of members.

"Similarly, club lottos may proceed if they are run on an online basis and do not involve wholesale engagement with the public. 

"Clubs are also advised to refrain from undertaking new capital projects while support funding for this type of work is suspended."

The GAA is set to follow the ladies football association's lead and declare this year's league null and void, which would consign Cork to football's Division 3 again in 2021 despite being on the brink of promotion last month. 

They are working to have a contingency plan in place for the championship, provided Covid-19 has been contained by the summer.

"We would also like to assure you that we, and the wider GAA team across our counties and provinces, are working hard to ensure that we are in the best possible position to return to our games when that time comes."

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