The country is still coming to terms with the news that broke last night that NPHET are recommending that the government should implement Level 5 lockdown restrictions across Ireland due to the big spike in Covid-19 cases during the past month.
Should the country move to Leve 5 restrictions, all organised sport would be off and gyms would have to close. Training would only be allowed on an individual basis. Level 5 would be a massive blow to Ireland's sports organisations, with the GAA intercounty Championship set to kickoff in a number of weeks, the Pro 14 just underway and the Ireland-Wales Nations League match set for the Aviva on Sunday. If we've learned anything in this country over the past six months, it's that sport is essential to Irish life.
It's unfortunate that sporting events have become flashpoints in the national dialogue about how seriously the country is taking the disease. A video filmed yesterday afternoon showing the celebrations of Blackrock GAA supporters welcoming their team back after they won the Cork SHC title appeared to show supporters flouting social distancing recommendations, and was widely criticised online.
Just as Glanmire GAA were called out it's now Blackrock GAA's turn.
This is an absolute disgrace, the GAA do whatever they want when they want.
How irresponsible is this when stage 5 is lurking.
LOI clubs are doing everything they can and will be punished for others stupidity. pic.twitter.com/nIqAx2I1df
— Domestic Ireland (@DomesticIreland) October 4, 2020
It's the second video to emerge from the world of Cork GAA over the past week that appears to show GAA supporters ignoring two metre social distancing.
Great social distancing in Pairc Ui Rinn last night for a Minor Football Final.
You'll hear nothing about it either because it's the GAA.
Meanwhile LOI grounds are empty because LOI clubs are doing everything correctly.
It's an absolute disgrace, numbers on the rise too. pic.twitter.com/ZPxt5Klh1w
— Domestic Ireland (@DomesticIreland) October 1, 2020
This morning, Cork GAA issued a statement imploring supporters and club 'not to engage in celebrations that breach current guidelines'.
Our priority throughout the pandemic has been keeping our GAA community safe.
Anything that threatens that safety, and the very continuation of the game during COVID-19, needs to be avoided at all costs.
To that end, we would plead with all clubs and supporters not to engage in celebrations that breach current guidelines.
There will be county finals again next year – and we want to make sure COVID-19 does not rob some of the chance to enjoy them
The club GAA season will effectively end after next weekend. Sadly, we're not sure if the intercounty season will follow it up.