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*Spectators watching from the roof at Fr Murphy Memorial Park, Newmarket-on-Fergus during last year’s Junior A final between O’Callaghans Mills and Kilmaley. Photograph: Ruth Griffin

Fully vaccinated persons should be allowed to attend championship games across the country, a Clare TD has said.

Deputy Joe Carey (FG) has written to Minister for Sport, Catherine Martin (GP), urging her Department to allow increased attendances to attend upcoming GAA championship fixtures.

Clare travel to Semple Stadium this Sunday to take on Waterford in the start of the Munster senior hurling championship. Carey flagged that 200 spectators will be allowed to attend what is a 45,690 capacity stadium. This represents 0.4% of the capacity.

He also highlighted the fact that just 200 supporters will be allowed to attend the Kerry v Clare Munster football championship game in 38,000 capacity Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney on Saturday evening.

Persons that are fully vaccinated should be entitled to travel to the games if they wish, the Clarecastle native stated. “While I fully understand and support the need for us all to support guidelines and to ensure that additional variants do not reverse the progress made in this country, I feel that it would make sense to allow fully vaccinated people to attend these fixtures,” Deputy Carey added.

“As of Monday, June 21, more than 20% of the Irish population was fully vaccinated. Many of the people who are fully vaccinated are relatively elderly and have been either cocooning or cooped up for more than 12 months since the first lockdown in March of 2020. It would be a huge boost to many of these people if restrictions were eased with regard to attending sports fixtures. In recent days we have seen very successful pilots, with regard to crowds attending matches, including League of Ireland games and the Camogie Association division 1 league final,” he added.

On Tuesday, Minister Martin announced details of a pilot live music event that is to take place on July 3rd at the Irish Mueseum of Modern Art. Ruan’s Sharon Shannon is among the musicians set to perform along with Denise Chaila, Gavin James and Wild Youth. The Deputy Leader of the Green Party said that a crowd of 3,500 people will be permitted with rapid testing and social distancing of 1m in place.

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