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GAA suspend all club fixtures

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*Photograph: Burren Eye Photography

All GAA club fixtures have been postponed until further notice.

Following a meeting of the GAA Management Committee on Monday morning, it has been decided to suspend all club fixtures and activity in clubs. Social centres and bars affiliated to GAA clubs will be forced to close as a result. The directive applies to all ages and clubs on the island.

At present, training is still permitted but this will change if tighter restrictions are introduced.

In correspondence issued to clubs from the Association, it is stated, “The decision has been taken in the interest of public safety following a number of incidents that have been brought to our attention in recent days”.

Officials noted that “in particular” post-match celebrations and a lack of social distancing at certain events “have proved disappointing and problematic”.

A joint statement from Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) President Marie Hickey and Director General Helen O’Rourke confirmed that alternative dates for the provincial championships were to be explored.

Clare GAA had been praised for managing to conclude the senior and intermediate hurling and gaelic football championships. Next weekend’s scheduled Junior A football decider between The Banner and Ballyvaughan is impacted as a result as is Inagh/Kilnamona’s outing in the Munster club senior camogie final.

Bord na nÓg officials had stated they would monitor the rising number of COVID-19 cases before setting a definite date for the start of the U16 championships. The resumption of the U21 hurling campaign is also in doubt.

Members of the Clare minor football panel are currently self-isolating after they travelled via bus to a challenge game in Galway on Friday last. Panellists have tested positive for COVID-19 subsequently. GAA clubs including Corofin and St Josephs Doora/Barefield had suspended all activity before Monday afternoon’s development.

No clarity has been provided regarding the planned start of the inter-county championships. Further guidance is expected following a Cabinet meeting to discuss NPHET’s recommendation to put the entire country at Level 5 on the Living with COVID-19 framework.

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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