GAA

John Horan: Club Action Will Be The Priority When GAA Returns

John Horan: Club Action Will Be The Priority When GAA Returns

John Horan has said that the club game will be the priority once GAA action does return following the Covid-19 emergency.

Speaking on The Sunday Game, the GAA president said that he does not envisage the return of action while social distancing guidelines are in place.

"I can't see it happening to be quite honest because if social distancing is a priority to deal with this pandemic, I don't know we can play a contact sport and that is what Gaelic games is, it is a contact sport," said Horan.

"Our concern has to be the players on the pitch, their families and their work colleagues; they are all amateurs and it is a hobby.

"I know they take it very seriously at inter-county level and they have a very professional approach to it but we cannot risk anybody's health.

"When all this is over and we're all back to normal life, I would hate to think that as an organisation that we made a decision that cost any family a member of their family.

"We're quite comfortable to say that we're going to go with the club game first for the very good reason that it impacts on a greater number of people. 98 per cent of our games are club games.

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"If we play club games, that's inclusive of everybody because the county players would get the opportunity to play with their clubs. I think that would be an important impact across the whole of Irish society. Then we can make the decision to resume with the county game."

Horan said that revenues across the GAA will be down by €50 million if there is no inter-county action this year. The GAA said last week that it will be October at the earliest before the inter-county game returns. Horan added that if that date is further delayed, the championships could be cancelled outright.

Horan also said that any decision which the GAA makes will be made as a 32-county organisation and that the six counties of Northern Ireland would not be left behind.

"We are a 32 county organisation and are quite proud of that fact," he said

"We're conscious that we have to go with the pace of the slower of the two. We're not going to move to exclude one side or the other.

"The hope would be, we're probably ahead in the 26 at the moment but that the six counties would catch up with us and that we'd be able to move on together.

"If not, we're not going to make any decision that leaves the six counties behind - we're in it together."

See Also: Tommy Walsh Embraces Ger Loughnane Attitude In Lockdown Life

PJ Browne
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