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GAA asks for ‘empirical evidence’ on new sporting restrictions

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The GAA has asked the acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn to meet and present the evidence behind Tuesday’s Government decision to restrict sporting activity.

NPHET (National Public Health Emergency Team) made recommendations that matches should be behind closed doors and that training outdoors should be restricted to 15 people. The measures come less than a month before intercounty training is due to restart and with county championships entering critical phases up and down the country.

The GAA have a number of clarification requests to put to Government, including whether an exemption for ‘elite sports’ applies to any of their activities as well as whether parents can attend children’s matches.

Offaly chair and RTÉ Sunday Game pundit Michael Duignan also taken aback on the station’s Six One News.

NPHET letter to the Minister for Health

“I’m at a loss for words this evening, really disappointed again. I’d just love to know where the evidence is coming from to support this. We obviously know we’re in a pandemic, we’ve been through a lot over the last six months. From day one, the GAA have led the charge, we’ve closed down our facilities.”

Offaly is one of three counties, with Kildare and Laois, to have been placed in a regionalised lockdown just over two weeks ago. According to Dr Glynn this will be reviewed next Thursday.

The GAA’s statement in full reads:

“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.”

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