The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport considering plan to allow inter-county training later in the summer
According to a report on the RTÉ ‘Your politics’ podcast a plan to allow inter-county training to resume later in the summer is under consideration at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
The plan though is at the very early stages of development and with the current restrictions on movement and the call for continued social distancing it is understood there is sensitivity around progressing the plan but the details of the proposal and how it could be introduced continue to be worked on.
For it to work GAA players, management and their backroom teams in every county will have to go through an extensive testing programme which would involve testing upwards of 2000 people on a regular basis.
The plan to allow inter-county training would also need to be sanctioned by the National Public Health Emergency Team and the Government.
A return to inter-county training would be a significant step towards a return to action on the field of play and also raise hopes that the GAA could stage their 2020 All Ireland championships.
That could happen either behind closed doors in the summer or possibly from September where restrictions on mass gatherings might be lifted considerably and spectators can attend games.
Again this is just in the early stages and it could be July or even August before this would be considered as plausible given the current restrictions.
But as the saying goes ‘a week in politics is a long time’ and the whole view on how this current pandemic is handled might be utterly different in the weeks and months ahead.
Also with other sports, particularly soccer, gearing up to return to games in the coming weeks, albeit behind closed doors, the success or failure of that will govern what decisions the government and health experts here will make on a call to a return of inter-county training and eventually competitive matches.