Westmeath's John Heslin.

Heslin flags concern over ‘health and welfare’ of players as inter-county GAA resumes

Westmeath senior footballer John Heslin has taken to social media to raise his concerns about the impact which the resumption of inter-county GAA action might have on those involved, in light of the latest public health advice.

Yesterday, NPHET was notified of 1,095 additional cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus – the single largest return of confirmed cases since the disease first manifested in Ireland in late February.

The Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan, said the fact that cases had exceeded 1,000 for the second day this week was “extremely concerning”. He urged people to reduce their contact with others by adhering to social distancing guidelines and “stopping discretionary socialising”.

Last night, the Government introduced an enhanced form of Level 3 measures by banning household visits and moving several border counties to Level 4.

With inter-county GAA action set to resume this weekend after being halted in March, Heslin (pictured in action above) had the following to say on Twitter:

Responding to another tweet, the St Loman’s forward added: “I love playing football and I’m looking forward to playing our upcoming games. Just struggle to make sense of it all when you incorporate Dr. Holohan’s advice into the equation!”

Heslin’s thoughts were retweeted favourably by a number of current and former inter-county footballers, including Kerry legend Darran O’Sullivan, Longford’s Mickey Quinn and Wicklow’s Conor McGraynor.

Westmeath are set to resume their Allianz NFL Division 2 campaign at home to Laois this Saturday, while the Lake County’s Joe McDonagh Cup senior hurling clash with Antrim in Belfast on Sunday week also looks poised to go ahead, despite an alarming rise in cases north of the border and the introduction of new restrictions there.

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