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Minister to meet with sports bodies to discuss Covid-19 restrictions

Catherine Martin will meet with representatives from the GAA, FAI and the IRFU today.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

MINISTER FOR SPORT Catherine Martin will meet with sports representatives today, including the GAA and the FAI, TheJournal.ie understands. 

Martin, alongside department officials, will meet with the IRFU, the GAA, the FAI and Sport Ireland today to discuss the current Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines. 

It’s expected that Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly and Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn will also be in attendance. 

It’s understood that the entrance to and exit from matches and events will be discussed and how they can be managed safely. 

Currently, as part of government attempts to suppress a spike in Covid-19 cases, all sporting matches and events must take place behind closed doors. 

The restrictions, announced two weeks ago, prompted disappointment and frustration from some sporting bodies. 

Training sessions are also limited to groups of 15 people outdoors

Until the restrictions were introduced, socially distanced crowds of supporters and spectators had been allowed to attend games once again. 

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After the restrictions were announced, the GAA had called on Glynn and the National Public Health Emergency Team to present the evidence that informed their recommendation that all sport in Ireland revert to being held behind closed doors. 

Professor Phil Nolan, the chair of the epidemiological modelling advisory group at the National Public Health Emergency Team, insisted that the main concern was that fans were congregating before, after and during games. 

Sporting bodies will be hoping that, if case numbers stabilise, the government will feel able to allow spectators to return to games.  

With reporting from Christina Finn

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