Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

16.12 8 Apr 2021


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GAA president Larry McCarthy says the association's reputation has been damaged by a series of high-profile breaches of the ban on inter-county training. 

They're investigating a training session conducted by the Monaghan footballers last month, for which the Farney county have banned manager Seamus McEnaney for 12-weeks.

Dessie Farrell was handed a similar suspension by Dublin GAA for a session held at Inisfails GAA club last week. Cork football manager Ronan McCarthy and Down's Paddy Tally have also fallen foul of the COVID-19 regulations.

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"I think it's done us reputational (sic) damage, which we're going to have to work to get back," McCarthy said after confirming the GAA's fixtures plan for 2021.

"There's no appetite for any breaches, in society, at the moment.

"But we'll continue to work to get that confidence, and to get that back from the public again and hopefully there won't be any more breaches.

"One of the things that's going to help us in that way is... OK the 19th [of April] is a deadline for us, but I'm looking forward much more to the 26th and having kids back, and then we can show what we really do in the communities."

McCarthy said the Monaghan breach will be investigated fully and dealt with accordingly.

"If the breaches occur," he warned, "Obviously there's a danger that they'll have an impact on us in terms of permissions that we're going to be given by Government. It's just the reality of it."

Inter-county action is due to resume on the weekend of May 8/9 with the Allianz Hurling League. The Football League will follow suit a week later.

Both Hurling and Football Championships will operate on a provincial knockout basis again this year, with the Tailteann Cup shelved until 2022.

Asked if challenge matches would be permitted prior to a return of inter-county action, the GAA's Director of Player, Club, and Games Administration, Feargal McGill said, "There is no clarity at the moment.

"The specific permission we've been given is to play National Leagues actually, so we're following up on that and we'll be asking Government about that, but I can't give you that answer today.

McGill says it depends on how vaccine rollout continues, allied with case numbers, before they can commit to resuming U17 and U20 competitions.

GAA reveal revised 2021 fixtures plan


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All-Ireland Senior Football Championship All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship All Ireland Championship Allianz Football League Allianz Hurling League Banty Cork Dessie Farrell Down GAA Larry McCarthy Monaghan Paddy Tally Ronan McCarthy Seamus McEnaney

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