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Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

09:16 19 Aug 2020


The Kerry GAA chairman says the latest government restrictions around the coronavirus should have been communicated with the association sooner to allow it to prepare.

The GAA released a statement yesterday in the wake of the government announcement that no fans were to attend any sporting activities for now.

"Following this evening’s unexpected announcement the GAA invites Dr Ronan Glynn and NPHET to present the empirical evidence which informed the requirement for the Association to curtail its activities.

"The Association will tonight be issuing an invitation to Dr Glynn to meet with its Covid Advisory Group in this regard without delay.

"The GAA and its members remain at all times committed to protecting public health."

Kerry chairman Tim Murphy told OTB AM that he doesn't see how the new regulations will help, and said they had cancelled some under-14 games in the Kingdom last night after the announcement.

"We did, on the basis that we didn't know what the detail of it was. If you take that to the enth degree, what would actually happen is you could have 40 cars arriving with 20 players on each team.

"The kids going in to play the games, and 40 parents congregating outside the field. It serves the exact opposite purpose to what was intended.

"When a decision is made it's instantaneous, there's no lead-in. That decision was made yesterday, if every county had a few days. For example, if the government had communicated with Croke Park in advance and there was a plan initiated around this... It would have made a huge difference.

"I do accept that it's an evolving situation and it's ever-changing and decisions are made on the hoof, so to speak, we get that. But I just think the GAA have played a huge part in fighting this Covid-19 virus in every respect.

"All we're asking for is that we'd get that level of information, maybe in a more timely fashion to allow us to deal with it then."

Murphy said his experienes of attending GAA matches recently would suggest clubs are fully aware of the need to take public health advice onboard.

"We're in limbo, the detail of what has been announced yesterday still has to be dealt with. We're waiting for that, and I know Croke Park has issued the statement.

"The GAA have played their part... At a community level, in terms of adhering to the protocols to best practice. Our clubs have been exemplary all over the country, and I can say that without fear of contradiction.

"I was at two hurling games, one on Friday and one on Saturday, I was at an under-10s match on Sunday morning, an under-12s match on Sunday evening, three under-14 games on the last three Wednesday nights. All in different venues, and I can say without fear of contradiction that the clubs were exemplary in how they ran their affairs.

"Everything was adhered to, social distancing was adhered to."

Murphy also reiterated the GAA calls for more evidence to be provided to back up the decision to move sporting events back behind closed doors.

"It's an awful lot more palatable for an association to accept a decision if there is evidence provided, that's a reasoned decision.

"We don't have any supporting evidence at this point in time, I'm not saying it's not there. I think the GAA are well within their rights, I think if that evidence is there we should have sight of it.

"People would be an awful lot more accepting of the decision that was made yesterday if that evidence is present. At the moment, all the anecdotal evidence that we see on the ground would suggest that people do take personal responsibility in the GAA.

"They do adhere to social distancing and the myriad of items that have been announced through NPHET and the government."

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Coronavirus Covid-19 GAA Kerry Kerry GAA Otb Am Tim Murphy

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