A number of county sides are facing serious probes and disciplinary action after they breached the GAA’s rules around Covid-19.
Down footballers gathered at Abbey CBS recently, an incident which led to the PSNI being called to the premises. While there was no public health breach, the meeting of players was not in line with the GAA’s collective training rules.
The Down County Board have said that it was a team meeting rather than a training session that took place. Although Down chairman John Devaney did say that the meeting should not have taken place, he did state that a similar incident will not happen again until they are given clear instructions that they are entitled to do so.
The Cork football panel were also seen training on Youghal beach recently. Manager Ronan McCarthy confirmed that the session was used for fitness purposes and that they complied with all Covid-19 related procedures. However, it does seem as though the fitness session was a clear breach of the GAA’s rules regarding inter-county collective training.
Two counties in Leinster have also been contacted by the GAA to answer questions around a potential gathering in recent weeks. The names of these counties have yet to be revealed.
The Association initially planned to resume team training on January 15, but this has been pushed back until the end of the month at the earliest. There are reports that some sides had begun training prior to the 15th and there may have been a Covid-19 outbreak in one of the camps.
The GAA will handle these situations in a manner that they see fit. It is believed that misconduct charges will be used to punish any county team that fails to adhere to their rules. This may result in a two-month suspension for anyone who was involved in these gatherings.