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  1. ITV Report

Pro14 and all GAA activity suspended due to Covid-19

Newly-elected president of the GAA, Larry McCarthy. Credit: INPHO

The GAA has suspended all activity at club, county and educational levels for two weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Meanwhile rugby's Pro14 season has also been suspended.

It comes after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced new measures to tackle Covid-19, including the shutdown of schools across the Republic of Ireland.

The GAA said: “In light of this morning’s government announcement, the GAA, An Cumann Camógaíochta and the Ladies Gaelic Football Association have decided to suspend all activity at club, county and educational levels until 29 March (inclusive) from midnight.

“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.”

David Jordan from the Pro14 said: “We have made this decision with everyone’s welfare foremost in our minds.

"With an evolving situation in the five countries that take part in Guinness PRO14 it is important to make a clear decision that is in keeping with the advice of the various governments involved.”

Meanwhile there are doubts over Euro 2020 football playoffs involving Northern Ireland and the Republic.

The Bosnian FA has written to UEFA to postpone its qualifier with NI, while the Slovakian FA has written to postpone its match with the Republic.

Linfield v Larne in the Irish League has been called off.

And the Football Association of Ireland has announced all football activity under its jurisdiction has been suspended until 29 March 29.

"The decision has been taken in light of the growing threat posed by the Covid-19 outbreak and in the best interests of our players, coaches, volunteers, supporters and staff," a spokesperson said.

"This decision will be monitored on an ongoing basis."

Down Royal Racecourse has announced the St Patrick’s Day race meeting on 17 March will be held behind close doors.

Emma Meehan, chief executive, said: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused; however the health and safety of racegoers is our priority.

“Only runners, riders and trainers will be in attendance, with turnstiles closed to racegoers. Ticketholders will automatically receive a full refund within 14 working days.”