Anger and frustration have been widely expressed on social media at the government’s decision to revert to holding matches behind closed doors. 

Thousands of families who had returned to matches and training, with a maximum number of 200 people in attendance, have now been told that they need to adhere to a 15 people limit on outdoor gatherings. The GAA have called for the National Public Health Emergency Team to present the “empirical evidence” for the restrictions.

Anthony Daly, former Clare hurling champion said that the decision was a disgrace.

Many felt the GAA was being targeted despite the efforts of volunteers during the pandemic.

 

And the news was described as a “kick in the teeth” by many on social media.  “The volunteers of the gaa and other sports orgs have bent over backwards to provide a safe environment for the players and spectators. This is a kick in the teeth. If the Gaa activities are spreading this virus, then provide the evidence,” wrote one woman.

 

Duagh GAA said the decision was “crazy”.

Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín asked for evidence of match attendances spreading the virus.

 

Responding, Risteárd Ó Fuaráín said: “We took Ballyheigue GAA U12 Hurlers to Lixnaw GAA  yesterday. Social distancing adhered to. Sanitisation points at various points. Looked pretty safe to me.”

While another commented: “Peadar I just don’t get it at all. Very odd  advice today. You can’t watch your kid play in the open air but 50 of us can go to a family wedding. No [social distancing]  on school buses but the same kids have to [social distance] on public transport at the weekend to go to town. Shouldn’t it be consistent?”

Sports clubs were bring punished for doing everything right, said one commentator:

 

Most commentators agreed for the need to show data justifying the restrictions.

“[The] GAA are right to ask for the actual data that informed the decision making on this. They represent hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom are frustrated. If it’s evidence based decision making then show them the evidence on why GAA need to curtail some elements, wrote  one supporter on Twitter.

Laois Offaly TD Carol Nolan said “there is a clear sense now that the guidelines are incoherent and simply do not make sense based on the advice that was previously given out.”

However, some took issue with the statement issued by the GAA and supported the restrictions