Republic of Ireland: GAA wants 'evidence' for behind closed doors decision

Two supporters watch a recent GAA match
Up to 200 people had been allowed to attend Irish sporting fixtures since late June but all sports events will now have to be behind closed doors until at least 13 September

The GAA is seeking "empirical evidence" from government experts on Covid-19 after the announcement that all sporting events in the Republic will be held behind closed doors.

Up to 200 people had been permitted at outdoor sporting events before a surge in cases led to the new regulations.

The new measures will be in place up until at least 13 September.

The GAA is inviting Dr Ronan Glynn to meet with Covid Advisory Group "in this regard without delay".

It added: "After the unexpected announcement the GAA invites Dr Ronan Glynn and NPHET to present the empirical evidence which informed the requirement for the Association to curtail its activities.

"The GAA and its members remain at all times committed to protecting public health."

Possible end date

The new measures will be in place up until at least 13 September.

A planned move to increase the limit to 500 people as part of phase four the Irish government's roadmap out of lockdown had been delayed following an increase in Covid-19 cases.

The measures announced on Tuesday mean outdoor events - in sport and elsewhere - will be limited to 15 people, down from 200, under strict new limits on public gatherings agreed by the Irish Cabinet.

Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin said the country had reached "another critical moment".

"Now as much as ever before we must remember our responsibilities to each other," he said.

Speaking after today's Cabinet meeting, the Taoiseach said the harsh reality around the recent trends and the spread of the virus are "very serious".

"We are not close to the level and pace of the spread of the virus from earlier this year, but we are at a point where we need to re-commit ourselves to key behaviours and accept additional controls," he said.

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