There is frustration and disappointment in the sporting community locally with new restrictions that mean all sporting events must take place behind closed doors until at least September 13.
While clubs and players acknowledge the need for some sort of measures, many have questioned the rationale behind yesterday's restrictions and their impact they will have on people. They point to the fresh air and ability to distance at games, and note the role sport plays in community spirit and people's mental health.
On social media, some players and pundits said sports were being unfairly 'punished', but the problems lay elsewhere. Kilkenny hurler and four-time All Star TJ Reid expressed his frustrations in a Tweet that has been liked 3,500 times.
GAA Clubs and Counties are after sacrificing so much since March. We have lead by example, we have listened and adapted. They are other problems that need to be addressed, but yet sporting events gets punished for doing everything right. #GAA #unfair #sport https://t.co/JMvQ8vbZim— TJ Reid (@_tjreid) August 18, 2020
Local soccer club Freebooters FC described the Government announcement as 'extremely disappointing', and said it seemed that clubs were being blamed rather than places where there had been outbreaks.
Extremely disappointing news this evening that all levels of sport will have to be played behind closed doors meaning no spectators allowed. We have put measures in place but still the government see fit to blame the clubs rather than the factories.— Freebooters AFC (@FreebootersAfc) August 18, 2020
Leinster GAA Chairman Pat Teehan has also criticised the latest restrictions put on the GAA, and called for urgent clarity from NPHET and the Government.
Others have said that the measures are merited, and should be welcomed as a means to combating the spread of the virus.