GAA club games suspended following Covid breach allegations

GAA Unveils Safe Return To Gaelic Games Protocol, Dublin 5/6/2020
A view of Croke Park after the GAA this evening released their 'Safe Return To Gaelic Games' document. 
Credit INPHO / Ryan Byrne
the directive will apply to all ages and grades in clubs across Northern Ireland and the Republic. Credit: INPHO / Ryan Byrne

The GAA have suspended club games at all levels following a number of incidents that breached Covid-19 guidelines.

The organisation's management committee said the decision was taken in "the interest of public safety", will have immediate effect and remain in place until further notice.

They cited a number of recent incidents, adding: "In particular, post-match celebrations and a lack of social distancing at certain events have proved disappointing and problematic."

Club social centres and bars are also set to close and the directive will apply to all ages and grades in clubs across the island of Ireland.

Derry GAA is among those being scrutinised following the senior football final in Bellaghy between Slaughtneil and Magherafelt on Sunday.

Pictures posted on social media showed large numbers of fans in the stands in an apparent breach of social distancing guidelines.

In response, it said: "The game was moved from Celtic Park (in Derry) given the current rate of Covid-19 cases.

"It was an all ticket event with restricted numbers and advice on GAA and health protocols were, including social distancing, widely communicated."

Video report by Barbara McCann:

Last month, Ulster GAA urged fans not to invade pitches at the final whistle following Dungannon's victory over Trillick in the Tyrone senior football championship final.

A number of fans ran onto the field to celebrate with the team, prompting criticism from First Minster Arlene Foster.