Neil Treacy
Neil Treacy

13.40 21 Sep 2020


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Ulster GAA have reiterated the GAA's message that no spectators should enter the field of play following games.

Their statement comes in the wake of Dungannon's emotional win in the Tyrone Senior Football Championship final on Sunday.

Dungannon Clarkes' penalty shootout victory over Trillick was the club's first senior title in 64-years, prompting understandably wild celebrations among club members.

A number of the limited crowd of spectators ran onto the field to celebrate with the team, with Northern Ireland's First Minister Arlene Foster among those to call on Ulster GAA to act.

This afternoon, the Ulster council have reminded clubs and spectators about their responsibilities amid the current strict Covid-19 regulations.

"The GAA has put in place protocols surrounding all aspects of the playing of games and, for the greater part, they have been universally observed. Over the weekend there were adult County Finals in six of our nine counties and evidence from across the province is that these protocols were adhered to, with spectators remaining in the stand during post-match presentations.

"However, the on-pitch celebration scenes following the Tyrone County Final in Omagh not only breached GAA protocols but, and much more significantly, public health guidelines. Ulster GAA fully realises that this was a moment of great joy for the Dungannon Clarkes Club in winning their first County title since 1956 and congratulations to them on this success. The dramatic nature of the conclusion of the game probably added to the exuberance but we are living in a pandemic and the post-match scenes did not portray the Association in a positive light," they said.

The statement adds that adhering to the current guidelines will give them a better chance of being able to increase capacity further down the line.

"The GAA has acted in a positive manner since the outbreak of the pandemic, with attendances at games strictly regulated. Our supporters have responded positively and responsibly but last night’s scenes undoubtedly placed GAA members and their local community at greater risk to Covid 19. It also potentially undermines the GAA case, and indeed the case for wider sport, to be permitted to have increased numbers attend our games.

"With more County Finals due in the coming weeks, Ulster GAA is again appealing to all our units to behave responsibly. The scenes of last night cannot be repeated or we will risk going back to a position where all games will be played behind closed doors."


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