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Adult club games to take place behind closed doors

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*Photograph: Burren Eye Photography

Spectators will not be granted entry to club GAA games in Clare until crowds of 500 are permitted at outdoor gatherings.

Wednesday’s announcement from the Government following recommendations from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) that the third phase in the roadmap for reopening Ireland in light of COVID-19 would be delayed until August 10th has impacted on local sporting fixtures in Co Clare.

An online meeting of GAA clubs in Clare took place on Friday evening whereby it was decided that the opening round of games in the Clare SHC, Clare IHC, Clare SFC and Clare IFC would be held behind closed doors.

At present, only 200 individuals are allowed to attend outdoor gatherings. Clubs had raised questions on how it would be decided who received ‘golden tickets’ to gain access to games.

A spokesperson for Clare GAA told The Clare Echo, “Clubs decided this evening that Clare championship games would be played behind closed doors until the numbers allowed attend is increased to 500 people. Clubs will receive at least 55 entry tickets for players, mentors and others to each game”.

Underage games will not be held behind closed doors. Correspondence issued from Bord na nÓg secretary, Pat Gavin to clubs on Friday night advised that postponements “are allowed under no circumstances” and the timing of games cannot be altered.

All clubs partaking in underage hurling and football will be visited in the coming days by a member of Clare GAA’s COVID-19 committee to assess if venues will suitably allow for social distancing. Committee members will monitor venues on matchday to ensure compliance with guidelines.

Media outlets are said to be in negotiations with Clare GAA on the prospect of streaming games. Last year, Clare GAA TV was launched broadcasting knockout ties on YouTube, it has yet to be unveiled if the platform will be utilised for the forthcoming championships.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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