After a few days of uncertainty, NPHET and the Government have clarified what type of intercounty GAA activity can go ahead in Level 5 covid restrictions. There have been reports this morning that only senior intercounty games will be allowed to go ahead. This means that the GAA's U20 and minor competitions will likely be postponed.
Headache for @officialgaa - Govt confirms to @rtenews only senior inter county games allowed under new Level 5 #Covid19 restrictions, raising serious questions about plans for Leinster under 20 hurling tonight & under 20 All-Ireland football at weekend. More on @morningireland
— Paul Cunningham (@RTENewsPaulC) October 21, 2020
RTÉ are also reporting the Department of Sport are awaiting clarification on whether underage GAA competitions can go ahead. The FAI and IRFU have already postponed all underage competitions. We're still awaiting confirmation from the GAA about how they will formally respond to the Government decision. However the Galway GAA chairman told local radio this morning that the U20 football final scheduled for Saturday between Galway and Dublin was off.
Pat Kearney, speaking to Galway Bay FM this morning, said the Galway Co. Board had got confirmation from Croke Park the All-Ire U20 football was not going ahead.
"The U20 match fixed for Sat evening is officially off, we just got confirmation from Croke Park there 20 mins ago."
— Eoghan Cormican (@cormicaneoghan) October 21, 2020
The GAA confirmed this news this afternoon in a statement:
Following clarification from the Department of Sport around the staging of inter-county fixtures, the GAA can confirm that as of midnight this evening, all minor and U20 inter-county competitions are paused until further notice.
The news comes as the minor football and hurling competitions were just getting off the ground. The U20 hurling competition is similarly just starting while the U20 football final was set to take place between Dublin and Galway this Saturday at 4pm. Its cancellation will mean one less opportunity to watch Ciarán Archer kick phenomenal points, like this.
.@DubGAAOfficial's Ciarán Archer with a top class score to put the side a point ahead! pic.twitter.com/hTLZIDHBaJ
— The GAA (@officialgaa) October 17, 2020
The competition began before covid struck. Its semifinals were played last weekend and it remains unclear unclear if it will be completed.
The U20 Leinster hurling competition will officially begin tonight (before lockdown commences) with Antrim playing Dublin in Darver while Laois are also scheduled to play Carlow and Offaly set to take on Westmeath. The Munster U20 hurling competition is at the semifinal stage after Tipp and Cork beat Clare and Kerry respectively on Monday evening.
There has already been a flurry of activity in the minor code with some big scalps taken. Meath beat Dublin by 11 points last weekend in the Leinster minor football championship. Monaghan beat Cavan by a point with an extra time goal from Stephen Mooney, while Donal Óg Cusack's Cork minors beat Clare resoundingly. There was another busy weekend of minor fixtures scheduled for the weekend across the country, with the first fixture in the Conancht minor football championship between Galway and Leitrim scheduled for Friday and four fixtures in Ulster scheduled for Saturday.
Full round of @ElectricIreland Ulster Minor Quarter Final action coming up on Saturday!🏐@officialdonegal🟡🟢 v @TyroneGAALive⚪️🔴@Doiregaa🔴⚪️ v @Armagh_GAA🟠⚪️@AontroimGAA🟡⚪️ v @monaghangaa⚪️🔵@FermanaghGAA🟢⚪️ v @OfficialDownGAA🔴⚫️
All live on https://t.co/jRlkJeru6C📺 pic.twitter.com/BaP3LP8uF3
— Ulster GAA (@UlsterGAA) October 19, 2020
The LGFA and Camogie Association shelved their minor competitions for 2020 when they announced a revised fixtures calendar back in the summer.