28 July 2020
By Bryan Smyth
Sinn Féin TD Thomas Gould today raised concerns around the Taoiseach’s lack of clarity in relation to guidance on attendance at outdoor sports events.
Deputy Gould said:
“I have been contacted today by players, parents, grandparents, club members and officials from the GAA regarding the lack of tickets available for Club Championship matches. Throughout the pandemic, it was GAA clubs who stepped up to raise funds for charities, deliver groceries, meals and medicine to cocooners and check in on isolated elderly people. They were quick to act on public health guidance and the wellbeing of players, match officials and attendees was paramount in their decision-making.
“The GAA have been following the public health guidance, in the best interests of players and supporters, but today it would appear that there has been a failure to communicate. The guidance was that only 200 people were allowed in a venue.
“With only 200 people allowed in a venue including match officials and players, this actually means only 80 supporters can attend in total. Championship restructuring will mean that for many teams the season will be over prior to the lifting of guidelines on August 10th and some won’t get to see their club play at all this year.
“However when I raised this with An Taoiseach today, he informed me that he had spoken with the Chief Medical Officer on the matter only last week and was unaware of the limit. This is particularly concerning as many have missed opportunities in the last number of weeks to watch their children, grandchildren and clubs play because of these guidelines.
“The Taoiseach needs to come out now and provide clarity to all outdoor sporting events immediately. It is disgraceful that these guidelines were not communicated clearly initially.”