The GAA is hopeful of a return to training at club level in May, as they prepare to roll out their plans for 2021 this week.
At present, only intercounty and juvenile club teams can return to training this month from April 19 and April 26 respectively, following the latest roadmap from the Irish government.
All club teams north of the border can resume training in a limited capacity from April 12, following a relaxation of government restrictions in the jurisdiction.
‘For the first time in a long time, there is hope again’
In the GAA’s April club newsletter, they said that they are hopeful that all club action can get the green light to resume at some point in May.
“In the coming weeks activity will return to GAA pitches all over the country. They are but the first tentative steps in Ireland’s easing of restrictions north and south, and they are dependent on virus numbers being manageable, but for the first time in a long time, there is hope again,” read the newsletter.
“A revised fixture schedule for the GAA season with intercounty competitions followed by a clear slot for club championship will be released on the weekend of April 9.
“In the 26 counties, juvenile training in non-contact pods will be allowed from April 26. There is no fixed date on when adult club training can resume but it is hoped that this might follow soon after some time in May if government permits.
“In the six counties, club training will resume from April 12.
“Seeing our clubs with their gates open and people playing, and especially young people back out in the open air with their friends will be worth the wait.
“The end is hopefully in sight. Please hold firm.”
Meanwhile, they issued a renewed appeal for clubs to adhere to restrictions.
This follows the fall-out of the Dublin senior footballers’ training session last week which led to manager Dessie Farrell getting a 12-week suspension from his own county board.
“Vigilance remains absolutely vital. So too, does compliance with public health guidance,” they said.
“Breaches at club and county level in recent weeks have brought the spotlight on our association and threaten to undermine the significant work done by the majority of members in the face of the pandemic.”
The latest warning follows GAA president Larry McCarthy saying on Saturday that another high-profile breach could plunge the return of intercounty action into doubt.
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