The Irish Government announced this evening that non-contact underage training in pods of 15 will be permitted from April 26th and that full contact Inter-County training at adult level can re-commence from April 19th. These are hugely welcome developments and will allow the GAA to finally begin planning on-field activity for the remainder of 2021. However, it should also be noted that these dates are conditional and will very much depend on what happens in terms of the overall COVID-19 picture in the coming weeks. For that reason, it is more important than ever that no collective training sessions are held between now and the Government indicated return dates. Breaches in this context will not only be dealt with under our own Rules but would likely put the broader plan to return to activity in serious jeopardy.
The GAA are awaiting further clarification on aspects of what was announced today before finalising plans for a return to training and ultimately games. They also need to finalise competition structures and dates for the up-coming inter-county season, as well as ensuring advice is provided for all clubs in relation to how they can safely recommence underage activity (and in the case of the 6 Counties, adult club training from April 12th). At this point, they can only confirm that Senior Inter County teams both North and South are likely to be permitted to return to collective training from Monday, April 19th. They hope to be in a position to confirm the fixture calendar and competition structures for inter county by the end of next week. They also hope to have finalised updated versions of Return to Play documents for both inter-county and club activity ahead of the stated dates for resumption North and South of the border.
In the interim, the GAA ask for patience while they complete this work and look forward to communicating again next week in relation to the resumption of GAA activity.