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'We can't wait for counties'


GAA president John Horan. Photo: Sportsfile

GAA president John Horan. Photo: Sportsfile

GAA president John Horan. Photo: Sportsfile

The GAA will not be able to wait for counties impacted by Covid-19 who will have to "step aside" if a county "goes down," GAA president John Horan has indicated, writes Colm Keys.

In an interview with RTE's 'This Week' programme, Horan said the time frame for the championship schedule, if it goes ahead, would be too narrow to cater for Covid-related postponements.

His remarks came as he confirmed that the GAA would borrow money to support struggling county boards and that conflict with the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) was not on their agenda, despite a blunt statement during the week demanding an urgent meeting with the acting chief medical officer Ronan Glynn seeking "empirical evidence" for the further compression of numbers at sporting events.

Horan said the Association was surprised by the further scaling back on number attending sporting fixtures and the statement was a call for evidence so that they could learn from it and implement more measures if required.

"Our membership was taken by surprise. It kind of undermined our confidence in our overall response to things with the announcement on Tuesday. We've been working very hard with our Covid committee to keep the operation going on the ground. We're not looking for conflict," he said.

"All we are actually looking for is the data on which the decisions were made.

"We would like to add that to the data we have been compiling with our Covid committee so we could inform ourselves to make better decisions on the ground and that we are not letting the side down in all of this.

"It has been said the statement was blunt. I have no question in regard to how Dr Ronan Glynn or NPHET are performing or doing their job.

"They are in a very challenging time, as are we. All we wanted was the data because we were surprised with the decision.

"We are not offering a criticism. People look at the statement and you can always interpret what is put in writing, but really the core of it was, could we get the data so we could be better informed."