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Ryan's policy of safety first will guide GAA's restart roadmap

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Director general of the GAA Tom Ryan. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Director general of the GAA Tom Ryan. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Director general of the GAA Tom Ryan. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

The GAA is developing a roadmap for a return to activity which director-general Tom Ryan has said will become clear in the coming weeks.

Ryan reiterated that safety will be prioritised as the Association's Covid-19 advisory group met for the third time earlier this week.

That committee has already recommended the re-opening of designated walkways from June 8, phase two of the Government's own roadmap.

Clubs will have an opportunity to apply to open facilities for walking, as long as they can ensure that an effective management plan will be in place to ensure public health recommendations on distancing are being observed.

Ryan has also expressed the hope that the Cúl Camps will go ahead with plans being finalised for how they might look.

The director-general acknowledged in an interview with GAA.ie that the ongoing closure of facilities affected more than just games.

"GAA clubs are part of communities everywhere all around the country, so in almost every case they're more than just football and hurling pitches," he said.

"It's important that we get back to using our facilities for those purposes as well. But it has to be done in a controlled way. And it has to be done in a safe way. The over-riding thing all the time is safety.

"That very definitely will be part of the roadmap that we'll map out for the Association and for clubs over the course of the next few weeks."

The Cúl Camps attracted 156,000 in 2019 and while Ryan did not guarantee they would return, it looks increasingly likely that they will, albeit with much smaller numbers and at far fewer venues than the 1,250 camps hosted last year.

"If we get a chance at all, and if the authorities can tell us that it is safe for us to go ahead with them, we will be ready to do them," he said.

Irish Independent