Dublin manager Dessie Farrell suspended after footballers pictured training

It comes after reports of a training session involving Dublin senior footballers which allegedly breached Covid regulations
Dublin manager Dessie Farrell suspended after footballers pictured training

Dublin's senior football manager Dessie Farrell has been suspended for 12 weeks with immediate effect.

It comes after reports of a training session involving Dublin senior footballers, which allegedly breached Covid-19 regulations.

In a statement, Dublin GAA's management committee accepted there was a breach of Covid-19 guidelines, after an investigation took place this afternoon.

"Dublin GAA acknowledge that, following an investigation this afternoon, there was a breach of Covid-19 guidelines yesterday morning," the statement said.

"The County Management Committee have suspended Dublin Senior Football manager Dessie Farrell for 12 weeks with immediate effect.

"The Dublin senior football management and players recognise that this was a serious error of judgement and apologise unreservedly for their actions."

The training session, first reported by the Irish Independent, took place around 12 hours after Croke Park warned that any breaches of group training could put the GAA’s plans for a return in serious jeopardy.

The report added that at least nine players took part in the session at a pitch in north Dublin.

Garda enquiries

Gardaí are making enquiries into the incident. While the training session was a breach of Covid regulations, a Garda spokesman said that regulation 11 (which places restriction on training events) is not a penal regulation.

The Gaelic Athletic Association said it is “extremely disappointed” that members of the Dublin senior football club broke coronavirus rules by taking part in the training session.

In a statement, a GAA spokesman said: “It is with frustration and extreme disappointment that the GAA acknowledges reports today of a potential breach of both our own Covid guidelines and those of the Government relating to the restrictions in place around team training.

“Less than 48 hours ago, the Association reiterated its commitment to these current guidelines and called for continued compliance in the weeks ahead.

“The GAA will pursue the allegations with the units in question at the earliest opportunity and will invoke any necessary disciplinary processes as appropriate.

“In the meantime, while we acknowledge that the overwhelming majority of counties and clubs have complied in an appropriate and responsible way with the restrictions currently in place, we once again call on our members and units to uphold the integrity of the Association as part of our ongoing efforts to play our role in thwarting the virus and ensuring a return to activity when it is safe to do so.”

More in this section