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GAA hoping to open designated walkways at club grounds from June 8

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The IRFU has indicated that they are opening walkway facilities for their members and GAA president John Horan indicated last week that the Association was reviewing that decision. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

The IRFU has indicated that they are opening walkway facilities for their members and GAA president John Horan indicated last week that the Association was reviewing that decision. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

The IRFU has indicated that they are opening walkway facilities for their members and GAA president John Horan indicated last week that the Association was reviewing that decision. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

The GAA is preparing to relax its approach to the ongoing closure of facilities by re-opening designated walkways in clubs on June 8, the day phase two of the Government roadmap towards easing general restrictions implemented during the Covid-19 emergency kick in.

Some clubs have developed walkways around the perimeter of their grounds and the growing feeling in the Association is that these facilities, at least, should be re-opened with set times for over 70s to use them.

Walkways in rural areas are an important community facility and the GAA's Covid-19 advisory committee, which has four respected medics involved, has been looking at all aspects of facility use and return to play with the walkway re-opening identified as being less risky than the opening of other facilities.

The IRFU has indicated that they are opening walkway facilities for their members and GAA president John Horan indicated last week that the Association was reviewing that decision. Once the GAA's Management Committee gives its expected approval, it is likely to be confirmed next week.

Easing

The relaxation will bring focus on further potential easing of restrictions which are in place, for now, until July 20 at the earliest with clubhouse meetings and small underage groups taking exercise on the agenda, something Horan made reference to last week too.

Elsewhere, Leinster GAA have distributed a draft calendar of post-primary competitions to commence in September, fuelling speculation that activities across the board could also be set to return around that time.

There has been no GAA action since March amid the Covid-19 outbreak but an official email distributed by Leinster GAA this week suggests that plans are in motion for a return to schools action by September 8.

It was feared that the 2020 All-Ireland championships may have to be scrapped but the draft fixture calendar circulated at the Leinster PPS meeting via Microsoft Teams on May 19 suggests a possible return of GAA action in less than four months.

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