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Dublin: 15 °C Friday 14 August, 2020
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Leading HSE official casts major doubts over 2020 GAA Championships

Dr Colm Henry says the Covid-19 curve will go ‘rapidly up again’ if normal service resumes too soon.

The Covid-19 crisis could stop any hurling or football from being played at Croke Park for the remainder of the year.
The Covid-19 crisis could stop any hurling or football from being played at Croke Park for the remainder of the year.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

THERE ARE INCREASING doubts over the viability of the 2020 GAA Championships and other events following comments made today by a leading HSE official.

The sporting calendar remains on hold due to the spread of Covid-19, which has so far caused 365 deaths in Ireland. There are now 10,647 confirmed cases of the virus throughout the country.

Dr Colm Henry, the Chief Clinical Officer for the Health Service Executive, explained today that easing social distancing measures too soon could be detrimental.

“We may be beating that curve down and even crushing it hopefully in the coming weeks if we all buckle down,” said Dr Henry.

“If suddenly we all decided to congregate again on beaches and stadiums and matches and wherever else, it will go rapidly up again. We’ve learned not just here in Ireland, but abroad. 

“While I don’t know what’s going to happen next, and there’s lots of opinions, nobody knows with certainty. It certainly doesn’t seem here in Ireland or internationally that we’re looking at a peak, fall, then back to normal. That doesn’t look to be a plausible narrative anymore.”

The GAA face losses of up to €60 million due to the Covid-19 pandemic and sporting shutdown, according to recent comments made by Director General Tom Ryan.

The 2020 GAA Championships had been due to begin on 3 May with New York hosting Galway in the Connacht senior football quarter-finals.

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Dr Henry added: “Each country is learning and we’re all sharing this learning as to what social measures we can loosen to allow society to return to some semblance of normality, while at the same time containing the virus.”

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