“Now, if there was another one? Oh Lord, that would make it very difficult for us.”
New GAA President Larry McCarthy has admitted that another breach of Covid restrictions by a team would make the GAA’s hopes of a return to action “very difficult”.
McCarthy was speaking after photos emerged last week of several Dublin footballers taking part in what appeared to be a non-contact training session at Innisfails GAA club.
Larry McCarthy on GAA restart.
The Cork native doesn’t think the GAA restart will be impacted by last week’s breach of Covid-19 restrictions, but another incident could make things “very difficult” for the association.
“I don’t think honestly this particular incident is going to impact it,” McCarthy told Red FM.
“Now, if there was another one? Oh Lord, that would make it very difficult for us.
“I’m reasonably confident at the moment that we will get back, assuming that the numbers stay where they are and that the public health authorities don’t decide that they’ve gone awry over Easter or anything like that.
“All going well, fingers crossed, I think we’re in a good place.”
The Dublin County Board reacted later the same day to the news by handing manager Dessie Farrell a 12-week ban.
Ronan McCarthy of Cork and Paddy Tally of Down also received 12-week bans for similar incidents, although the GAA, and not the individual county boards, handed the bans out. Tally’s ban was later reduced to eight weeks on appeal.
The new GAA President confirmed that the same procedures would be followed in this case before the association decided if any further punishment should be given to Dublin.
“Coiste Bainistí had an emergency meeting and we appointed an investigation committee to look into it, as we did with the Cork incident and Down incident earlier in the year so we’re adopting the exact same procedures,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy also gave news of the release of an updated GAA calendar which should be available shortly to help clubs plan for the rest of the summer.
“We’re working on it at the moment. It’s going to be concertinaed a little bit so it’s going to make it a little more difficult and a little bit more challenging,” he admitted.
“But I’ve no doubt with the help of the counties and with the help of the players we will have a programme of games right through the summer.
“But the more important element of that is I just hope to God we get the clubs up and operating. The 98 percent is more important than the 2 percent but the 2 percent are our shop window.
“The ideal here is to get the clubs back as quickly as is feasible.”