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Gardai investigating Dublin breach as Jack Chambers calls on the GAA to act

An Garda Síochána is making enquiries into reports of alleged breaches of Covid Regulations by some Dublin senior footballers for the purposes of collective training. 

A number of high-profile stars, including Footballer of the Year Brian Fenton, Jonny Cooper, and Brian Howard, were reported to have engaged in early morning drills at Innisfails GAA club in North Dublin.

The GAA has expressed its 'frustration and extreme disappointment' with the nature of events.

In a statement, the Gardaí refer to the fact that "The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A-Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (No.10) Regulations 2020, as amended, are currently in force. Regulation 11 places restriction on training events. Regulation 11 is not declared to be a penal regulation. If Gardaí identify potential breaches of the public health regulations (travel restrictions) a Fixed Payment Notice may be issued where appropriate."

Speaking on Newstalk's Lunchtime Live, Minister of State for Sport, Jack Chambers, has called on the GAA to take action.

"I was really disappointed and frustrated to see those photographs. Many GAA players are important role models. In fairness to many inter-county players, they've shown great leadership over the last 12 months in trying to reinforce the public health message in our response to Covid. So to see a training session in breach of the rules is extremely disappointing and surprising as well. I know the GAA has said in a statement in the last 48 hours that any breaches will be properly dealt with and we need to see that now."

Chambers added that he felt the photographs were a slap in the face to Dublin GAA supporters in the capital.

"It absolutely is and the majority of people are upholding the public health advice when it comes to really important occasions like funerals, like family gatherings - many people are isolated or frustrated and I accept people are in a very difficult space. If we see blatant breaches of the rules, that undermines the integrity of the broader public health messaging and that's why I think many people will be very disappointed this morning when they read what has happened."

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