GAA

Liam Sheedy Believes Local GAA Pitches Should Be Opened

Liam Sheedy Believes Local GAA Pitches Should Be Opened

Liam Sheedy has called for the GAA to allow club grounds open once again and allow people to practice the skills of Gaelic games.

Amid the Covid-19 emergency, the GAA's current stance is that grounds will not open until July 20th.

"This is one I'd love to see changed, personally," the Tippeary hurling manager told 2FM's Game On.

"I know there's a lifting of places where people can venture from the 18th of May.

"The reality is people feel on top of the world when they have a hurley or a football in their hand when they're in their local pitch. There's no doubt about it, there is a real connection. That's what me and others grew up with, getting down to that local pitch every chance we got and getting to practice your skills.

"If I take Portroe, and my neighbouring parishes of Kiladangan and Burgess, both of those would have two fields and a hurling wall as well. So, there's a lot of space there.

"People are nearly afraid to go to hospital to get their checks done is what we're hearing. So I don't really see where there would be a massive influx of people onto our pitches. It is a very, very safe environment to go where social distancing I feel could be adhered to.

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"Everybody in local communities is so aware of the importance of social distancing and hand-washing, it's nearly become a part of our lives.

"The pitches around Ireland can give a lot [in terms of mental fitness]. Especially in rural Ireland, I think it’d be a massive win.

"And look, if it can’t be policed or can’t be supported, or if there’s misbehaviour, then you lock the gates.

"I do think we could trust our clubs and our members to respect the rules."

Sheedy is also in favour of playing inter-county games behind closed doors if the other option is there being no championship action in 2020.

"If you take three Tipperary players, if they were members of Thurles golf club, the two Mahers and Seamie Callanan could decide to go off and play a game of golf next week and spend four or five hours there," Sheedy added regarding his desire to see club grounds opened.

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"But right now, they can hurl outside the pitch but they can’t go in.

"With all of this, I think there is an opportunity for people to fall more in love with the sport because they get a chance to practice.

"There is no competition and we all understand that there is no competition for the foreseeable future but an opportunity to get into a hurling wall and practice your skills is I think a missed opportunity in how we’re currently structured.

"I do appreciate that it’s not an easy one to solve and I think the GAA has done an awful lot right in this pandemic. I think they’ve been excellent overall. But certainly the one area where we could give a little back on is the hurling pitch."

Picture credit: Sportsfile

See Also: Is This The Most Beautiful GAA Pitch In Ireland?

PJ Browne
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