Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

21.09 19 Oct 2020


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Elite level sport has earned a reprieve from new Level-5 restrictions to be imposed by the Government. 

Following an address by the Taoiseach Micheal Martin, the Government confirmed that "in line with current NPHET advice in respect of Level 5, professional, elite sports and inter-county Gaelic games, horse-racing and greyhound racing can continue behind closed doors."

They add, "No training or matches should take place, with the exception of professional, elite sports and inter-county Gaelic games, horse-racing and greyhound racing, which are being permitted to continue behind closed doors."

Furthermore, "in addition, in recognition of the impact on children and young people of restrictions, non-contact training can continue for school aged children, outdoors in pods of 15. All other training activities should be individual only, with some exemptions."

Speaking on The Last Word last week, the Tanaiste Leo Varadkar claimed a move to Level-5 would spell the end of this year's All Ireland Championships.

His claim had contradicted a letter sent by the Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly which said elite sport would be exempt from Level-5 restrictions.

The new restrictions will be in place for six weeks, until December 1.

News of elite sport's exemption will be manna from heaven for the GAA, who only saw the resumption of the Allianz Leagues this past weekend.

The All Ireland Hurling Championship will begin on Saturday evening, with a Leinster Hurling quarter-final meeting of Dublin and Laois at Croke Park.

The Six Nations can resume behind closed doors on Saturday with Ireland's clash with Italy. Ireland als

Dundalk's Europa League group games in these next six weeks with Molde and Rapid Vienna can also go ahead without crowds present. The final rounds of SSE Airtricity League matches can also be completed.

Horse racing will also be allowed to continue behind closed doors.


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CMO Chief Medical Officer Coronavirus Covid-19 GAA Ireland League Of Ireland Leo Varadkar Level 5 Restrictions Rugby Six Nations Stephen Donnelly Tony Holohan

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