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GAA investigating claims of training breach by Monaghan Gaelic footballers

“I’ll tell you there is very little activity on any pitch in Monaghan.”

Video footage has emerged apparently showing members of the Monaghan senior footballers taking part in a training session, which is in breach of Covid-19 guidelines.

The alleged breach follows photos emerging of the Dublin footballers taking part in a training session, with manager Dessie Farrell receiving a 12-week GAA ban from his own county board.

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Monaghan GAA.

The Irish Independent reports that a number of photos and videos, which showed Monaghan footballers breaching Covid-19 and GAA guidelines, were sent to the Department of Justice.

They allegedly show the Monaghan footballers engaged in a collective training session at Corduff GAA club at the end of March.

The Department of Justice confirmed to RTÉ that they have passed on the relevant information to the gardaí, Croke Park and the Department of Health.

Garda spokesperson.

An Garda Síochána has confirmed it is making enquiries into the alleged breaches of Covid regulations, while the GAA will investigate the matter fully.

“The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A-Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (No.10) Regulations 2020, as amended, are currently in force,” A Garda spokesperson told the Irish Independent.

“Regulation 11 places restriction on training events. Regulation 11 is not declared to be a penal regulation.

“If gardaí identify potential breaches of the public health regulations (travel restrictions), a fixed payment notice or notices may be issued where appropriate.

“As with all of these incidents that are brought to our attention, we will investigate it thoroughly.”

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Declan Flanagan.

Monaghan GAA chairman Declan Flanagan said the alleged session was “news to me” and insisted his county were not returning to collective training until April 19.

“If it is a Monaghan training session, I’m not aware of it because we’ve been holding fast on going back to training,” Flanagan said.

“As far as I’m concerned, Monaghan GAA are not doing any training and I’ll tell you there is very little activity on any pitch in Monaghan.”

Back in February, Monaghan manager Seamus McEnaney was not happy with the decision to ban GAA activity, asking “what had changed?” since last year.

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Larry McCarthy on GAA restart.

Earlier this week, GAA President Larry McCarthy said he didn’t believe the GAA restart would be impacted by Dublin’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.”

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