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Some return to normality

Golf and tennis clubs prepare for Monday re-opening

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Greenkeeper Seamus Power working hard on the upkeep of New Ross golf course which will re-open to members living within a five km radius on Monday.

Greenkeeper Seamus Power working hard on the upkeep of New Ross golf course which will re-open to members living within a five km radius on Monday.

Greenkeeper Seamus Power working hard on the upkeep of New Ross golf course which will re-open to members living within a five km radius on Monday.

Golf and tennis clubs throughout the county are gearing up this week for the return of some sense of normality.

In accordance with phase one of the government roadmap, limited activity will be permitted from next Monday, May 18.

And it means that at least some of the long-suffering public, denied their sporting fix since the Covid-19 restrictions were imposed, will be able to indulge in their favourite pastimes once again.

However, with travel still restricted to a five-kilometre radius, only those living very close to their club will be facilitated in this initial part of the government's phased plans.

Carol O'Brien, Secretary of Rosslare Golf Club, stressed 'we will be open to golf, subject to guidelines, but the clubhouse will remain closed'.

Meanwhile, John Meyler, the club P.R.O. in Wexford, urged all members to carefully read the strict conditions set out in the protocol agreed by the golfing authorities with the relevant government and health agencies.

They are available to be studied on www.golfnet.ie.

Bernie Morrissey, the Wexford Harbour Boat and Tennis Club tennis captain, warmly welcomed the fact that players can get back to the sport they love, although understandably her enthusiasm is tempered by a dash of caution.

'We're absolutely delighted because in truth social distancing in tennis shouldn't be that difficult. We were a bit disappointed when we were shut down, as were the golf courses, but it was inevitable it was going to happen, everything was shut down.

'It's great to be in the first phase of the re-opening of things. There is a hell of a lot of work involved in it as well, ensuring we're providing the necessities for people to protect themselves. The virus has not gone away unfortunately,' she said.

While golf and tennis enthusiasts have something positive to look forward to, the same cannot be said for the G.A.A. community after the national President, John Horan, addressed the main issues facing the organisation in a wide-ranging interview with Des Cahill on 'The Sunday Game' television programme.

The bottom line, delivered in a forthright manner by the Dubliner, is that games will not be played for as long as social distancing remains a requirement.

And even though Horan estimated the G.A.A. is facing a financial loss of €50m, he stressed the priority will always be the health and safety of all its members.

Hopes of a quicker return to games had heightened after comments made by Leo Varadkar in a television interview with Ryan Tubridy on Friday week, May 1.

Davy Fitzgerald told us last week that his players were 'buzzing' after hearing what they considered to be bright news, but Horan said 'everyone was taken by surprise on Friday night because no one knew what was coming'.

He further explained that G.A.A. facilities will remain closed until July 20 at the earliest, because the risks involved in get-togethers prior to that date were too great.

The President was sceptical about the possibility of being able to finish the current National Leagues. And he said that the first two months of 2021 would be used to finish the 2020 championship if required.

Enniscorthy Guardian