GAA announces pitches will re-open again in Ireland this month with competitions to follow
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GAA announces pitches will re-open again in Ireland this month with competitions to follow

GAA pitches across Ireland will re-open this month the organisation has revealed in a ‘Safe Return to Gaelic Games’ document released this evening.

All GAA activity has been on hold across the country since March 12, in line with lockdown restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But following the Taoiseach’s announcement earlier today, that the country’s phased lockdown lifting would be accelerated, GAA chiefs have revealed their own plans for getting teams back on the pitch – for training and playing competitively – this year.

The document, released just after 6pm, confirms that when Ireland enters into Phase 3 of its lockdown easing strategy on June 29, GAA pitches across the country will open once again - allowing club teams to train in groups of ten, while maintaining social distancing.

On July 20 the limitations lift further, with full team training resuming, as long as the country continues to keep control of the coronavirus.

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And from July 31 all club adult and juvenile competitions can resume, the GAA has confirmed.

The document further stipulates that it will be September 14 before inter-county teams can resume training, with October 17 the earliest possible date for inter-county competitions.

Regarding the announcement, GAA President John said: “It’s a very positive day for us”.

The news came as British GAA chiefs confirmed that there would be no return to pitches in this country before July 20.

In a statement made on June 1, the Provincial Council of Britain GAA said: “Further to recent announcements from different Governments bodies we wish to clarify the Provincial Council of Britain GAA position on all GAA activities in our jurisdiction.

“The Council will, when it is safe to do so advice all units in line with GAA advice, the current government measures at the time and our own operational & games requirements.

“Our Members, Counties & Clubs welfare is paramount in our considerations, as is the wider community we are part off.”

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They add: “All fixtures are currently postponed indefinitely until a return to ‘normal’ can be implemented in a safe fashion.

“All GAA facilities, training & games are to remain suspended/closed.

“These measures are expected to remain in place until July 20 at the earliest.”

Read the GAA's 'Safe Return to Gaelic Games’ document in full here.