The Irish Government published their “Covid 19: Resilience and Recovery 2021” plan yesterday. There is no immediate change for sport outlined in the plan but it is clear that no GAA on-field activity will be permitted – even at inter county level – until Easter at the earliest.
The GAA will be seeking clarity on certain aspects of the provisions on sport in the new Government document and while the document does envisage the return of inter-county games at Level 4 and of some club games in Level 3, it remains impossible to plan a revised Master Fixtures calendar for 2021, as there is no indication at this point of when these Levels may kick in. The exercise is further complicated by the GAA’s need to align its plans with whatever is permitted by the NI Executive for Counties and Clubs in that jurisdiction.
In the interim, and despite any speculation you may read or hear to the contrary, the GAA have not decided on what competitions may or may not be facilitated in any revised National Fixture Programme for 2021. Such decisions will be a factor of how much time is ultimately available both for an inter county season and for the broader participation levels necessary for a meaningful club season at both adult and underage levels.
The next signpost on the road for society is likely to come in the week leading up to Easter. The GAA will communicate directly with Counties and Clubs at that point and once Government make clear whether they see any further relaxing of restrictions (for example allowing inter-county training or games) being permitted.
The GAA again thank all Gaels for their patience and understanding of a very trying situation. A revised National Fixtures Calendar will be published by the GAA at the earliest possible opportunity and they remain optimistic about a resumption of GAA activities at all levels later this year.