COVID UPDATE 5/1/21

  • Jan 05,2021


Given the current exceptional rise in infection rates of Covid 19 and the increased risk of community transmission, the GAA has taken the decision that there will be no collective training permitted for inter-county teams for at least the remainder of the month of January.   


In addition, Club and County gyms must stay closed until further notice.   


As previously advised, and under the current Government Regulations in both jurisdictions, neither training nor games are permitted at club level currently.    

Breaches of any of the above provisions will be dealt with under Rule 7.2 (e) “Misconduct considered to have discredited the Association”. The full wording of this Rule and potential penalties are included as an Appendix 1 below.  

As you are aware, the current Level 5 restrictions in the South will run until January 31st at which point the GAA will review the current situation and further advice in this context will be provided.   

Finally, it is important to note that outdoor gatherings on GAA property are not permitted – the only current exception to this is for walkways (which may stay open for use by the community with social distancing in place) and for clubs registered under the “Ireland Lights Up” walking initiative (see Appendix 2).  


I fully appreciate the frustrations these additional restrictions may place on our inter county players and management teams. However, the safety of everyone in the game and indeed in the broader community has to be our primary focus. It has never been more important for our players, coaches and officials to follow both the Government guidelines and our own provisions around training.   

I thank you for all you have done in this context to date and ask again for your cooperation and understanding as we battle to defeat the virus and finally return to normality.  


Is mise le meas,   

Tomás O Riain              Seán Ó hÓráin

ARD STIÚRTHÓIR       UACHTARÁN


 Appendix 1  

Rule 7.2 (e) Official Guide, 2020  

7.2 (e) Misconduct Considered to have Discredited the Association.  

This shall include breaches of Rule 1.12 Official Guide Part 1, and Rules 5.33 (Hurling) and 5.29 (Football) Aggressive Fouls, Playing Rules, Official Guide Part 2.  


Penalties: Member – A minimum 8 weeks suspension. Debarment and Expulsion from the Association may also be considered.  


Team/Unit – Where suspension is deemed appropriate – a minimum of 8 weeks. A Fine, Disqualification and Expulsion from the Association may also be considered. 


Appendix 2 

Ireland Lights Up 

In support of the Irish government’s current ‘Keep Well’ campaign, Ireland Lights Up 2021 will proceed within the current Covid-19 restrictions but with the delayed start date of Wednesday, January 13th.  

The ‘Keep Well’ campaign aims to support communities and individuals to mind their mental and physical health over the coming months. Healthy Ireland and Sport Ireland have made available a grant scheme to support clubs’ costs in delivering Ireland Lights Up 2021. This year, other sporting codes are also participating in the initiative to maximise its positive impact on local communities.    

Almost 350 GAA clubs have registered to date to participate. It is vital that clubs abide by public health guidelines and take every due diligence to ensure those who want to enjoy a walk at their local GAA grounds can do so safely. Walkers also have a responsibility to adhere to the latest public health guidelines (including travel restrictions, set at 5km from one’s home at time of issue).


Required steps:  

A risk assessment must be completed (templates provided on registration website)   

  • Clubs should register on Get Ireland Walking App which allows for walkers to book individual/household walking timeslots (link available on registration page – will be active from January 7th)   
  • Get Ireland Walking has recommended a maximum of 50 people per hour be permitted on a standard walking track surrounding a pitch (this limit is automatically set on the above App)   
  • All walkers must adhere to public health Covid-19 guidelines, including travel restrictions (currently set at a 5km radius from one’s home)   
  • Participants must walk as individuals or within their household pods   
  • Children must always remain with parents/guardians   
  • A one-way system must be in place on the track for walkers  
  • Hand sanitisation station(s) should be placed at the entrance of the track  
  • The carpark and walking track should be the only elements of the club facilities open to members/the public  
  • Covid 19 signage to be in place at the club property and on walkway   

Ireland Lights Up is delivered in partnership with Get Ireland Walking and RTE’s Operation Transformation and will be officially launch on the Wednesday, January 13th episode of the hit TV show.