Sport in Ireland can resume from June 29 following government announcement
By Brian Barry
Last Updated: 19/06/20 8:43pm
The Irish government has announced that all sport, including contact sports, can resume from June 29.
An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced the news on Friday evening, as a number of the Covid-19 restrictions are set to be lifted in the country.
Nonetheless, he said that spectator numbers must be low for the foreseeable future.
"We will all need to be careful. It will not be as it was before the start of the pandemic and for now sports will take place with very limited numbers of spectators," said Varadkar.
The GAA said it expects that this will enable them to accelerate their return-to-play plans.
"The GAA will review over the weekend its plans for a return to activity following today's government announcement," read a statement.
"It is expected that the GAA's Advisory Committee will be able to advance its plans for a return to activity and various options will be considered at its next meeting, after which an update will be provided."
Meanwhile the IRFU also welcomed the news: "The process of implementing the appropriate public health measures in our clubs has accelerated in recent weeks and we are committed to returning to rugby safely.
"The IRFU in consultation with the provinces will assess the latest update from the Irish government and will communicate with clubs in due course."
Meanwhile, €70m of new funding was announced for national governing bodies of sport, local sports partnerships and sports clubs in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
"The primary purpose of the funding announced today is to protect the national sports system in Ireland, which has been developed over the past two decades," said Sport Ireland. "The physical and organisational infrastructure is at risk from COVID-19 and it is recognised that the cost of rebuilding would be significantly higher."