Cork County Board to adapt a wait and see attitude in regard to returning to training and games

Cork County Board to adapt a wait and see attitude in regard to returning to training and games

Joe Blake, PRO and Kevin O'Donovan, Secretary.

THE CORK COUNTY Board are adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach to Croke Park’s latest news that there will be no activity until Easter at the earliest.

Inter-county training was originally scheduled to return on Monday with the national leagues set to start at the end of the month.

But, that won’t happen now and while all involved were hoping for a resumption after the Government’s Level 5 review at the start of March, that, too, has been kicked to touch.

Cork’s plans include the beginning of the county league leagues in football in mid-April, but that’s likely to be pushed back to a later date.

It also adds extra pressure on finding dates to conclude last season’s outstanding county finals in football and hurling, including the Bon Secours premier senior football decider between Nemo Rangers and Castlehaven.

“We can only wait and see what happens down the line from Croke Park,” said PRO Joe Blake.

“Once we are given definite starting dates we can then begin planning our club schedule,” he added.

Last season inter-county was considered an elite sport and qualified under Level 5 to allow the championships take place.

But, a meeting of Croke Park’s Covid Advisory Group on Wednesday was told that was no longer the case with the Government pulling the plug on all Gaelic games activity.

Croker are still insisting on completing the leagues even though there will be a much later start than usual.

This will have a knock-on effect on the championships which, in turn, will impact on the club season.

Club activity is only permitted under Level 3 restrictions and the country is a long way off from returning to that phase.

The Government have said they are going to issue an updated Living with Covid document soon which should shed some light on the current predicament.

Meanwhile,  Taoiseach Micheál Martin has raised hopes that inter-county GAA activity could resume before the beginning of April.

Last night, the GAA confirmed to its units that inter-county football and hurling has lost its elite status as per the Covid restrictions and therefore was no longer an exemption at Level 5.

The GAA had already indefinitely suspended the return of inter-county training from January 15 but were informed by Government officials earlier this week that counties would not be allowed to convene anyway.

The GAA’s Covid-19 advisory group believes inter-county training is unlikely to resume until after Easter at the earliest. However, Martin offered more optimism in an interview on Morning Ireland this morning.

“In the context of the revising of the (Living with Covid) plan, we will look at sport and look at inter-county GAA,” Martin said of the plan due to be released the week after next.

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