Blanket suspension of GAA games over Covid-19 outbreak
The Gaelic Athletic Association has decided to suspend all activity at club, inter-county and educational levels until March 29 (inclusive) from midnight tonight (Thursday).
Westmeath's clash with Laois on Sunday in Division 2 of the Allianz National Football League is now among the games scheduled for this weekend which now won't go ahead, while St Joseph's, Rochfortbridge's Leinster Schools SFC 'A' final against Naas CBS has also fallen victim.
There had been some speculation that games might be played behind closed doors, but the GAA statement now makes it clear that matches won't go ahead on that basis.
A joint statement from the GAA, Camogie Association and the LGFA, issued this afternoon, read as follows:
"In light of this morning’s Government announcement, the GAA, An Cumann Camógaíochta and the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) have decided to suspend all activity at club, inter-county and educational levels until March 29 (inclusive) from midnight.
"This is to include all games, training and team gatherings at all ages and all grades.
"We will continue to liaise with Government officials and review the situation between now and the end of the month, assessing the impact of these measures on our competitions.
"In the meantime, the Association is encouraging all members to continue to follow the guidelines which have been provided by the health authorities."
Basketball Ireland was the first national sporting body in Ireland to announce a suspension of its fixtures. It announced the decision last night (Wednesday).
Meanwhile, confirmation of the fate of local junior soccer fixtures and Mullingar RFC's Provincial Towns Cup clash away to Gorey (Sunday) is pending a statement from the FAI and the IRFU. Both organisations are widely expected to follow the GAA with a blanket suspension.
UPDATE (4.36pm): Mullingar Rugby Club has announced their response to the Covid-19 outbreak:
"Following lengthy discussions today Mullingar Rugby Club have postponed ALL rugby activity until March 29th.
"Due to the health risks to our members, and community all rugby activity shall be suspended until March 29th."
"We will keep you posted as to further developments."