No games before Easter? Kilkenny GAA pitches may remain quieter for longer than anticipated

Trevor Spillane

Reporter:

Trevor Spillane

Email:

tspillane@kilkennypeople.ie

Kilkenny GAA

A quiet Nowlan Park - the county's GAA headquarters may not see any action until after Easter at the earliest

A return to Gaelic Games could be as far away as Easter after the GAA outlined changes to the coronavirus protocol.
With the country still battling the pandemic, sport could be forced to take a backseat for longer than the GAA anticipated.
The GAA's Covid Advisory Group met this evening (Wednesday) to consider the outcome of a meeting between the GAA, Ladies Gaelic Football Association and Camogie Association and representatives of the lrish Government.
The meeting was held to brief the governing bodies on the short-term prospects for a return to training and playing of our games. The Government representatives clarified that inter-county Gaelic Games activity is not covered under the current Level 5 exemptions for elite sports.
As such, the GAA said, a return to inter-county training or games is not permitted under the current restrictions. It was also clear that there will not be any change to this position post-March 5, when the restrictions currently in place are reviewed. It is the view of the GAA's Covid Advisory group that no on field activity will be permitted - training or games - until Easter at the earliest. The GAA expects that an updated Living with Covid plan, to be published by the Government, will provide clarity on when clubs and counties are likely to be allowed return to training and games in 2021.
The GAA have made no firm decisions on what competitions may or may not be facilitated in any revised fixture programme, stating that such decisions will be a factor of how much time is made available for an inter county season and a meaningful club season. Once clarity is provided by the Government the GAA will follow with its own roadmap and plan for sufficient activities at both inter-county and club level to cover whatever time is available for the remainder of the year.
"We know these latest developments will come as a great disappointment to all those who are anxious to resume their Gaelic Games involvement, be it on or off the field," they said. "While we remain in the midst of a deadly pandemic, there is significant cause for optimism that much better days lie ahead."
A revised Master Fixture Calendar will be unveiled once a new Government road map for society and sport is made available.