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'I can see no sense in playing' - abandon intercounty plans if restrictions remain, says Leitrim chief

Enda Stenson says he doesn’t think championships should be played off if supporters can’t attend.

Locked down: Croke Park.
Locked down: Croke Park.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

THE GAA SHOULD abandon plans to play intercounty championships this year, if current government restrictions remain in place and fans are locked out, according to the chairman of Leitrim GAA.  

At present, gatherings are restricted to 50 people indoors and 200 people outdoors.

It was widely expected — and hoped — that these limits would be expanded to 100 and 500 respectively from next week, but this will now not happen until, at the earliest, 10 August.

And with club championships kicking off this weekend around the country, GAA John Horan made a direct plea to government to accommodate crowds at football and hurling games. 

“Of all the announcements to hear that GAA grounds won’t open to 500 people until 10 August, my heart sank,” Enda Stenson, Leitrim chief, told Shannsonside

“If for instance we get to the stage of the county semi-finals and final stage where we can’t get people into the grounds, then what is the sense in going ahead with the inter-county scene?”

“I cannot see any sense good, bad or indifferent to pay good money to train inter-county teams to play matches virtually behind closed doors.”

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“I don’t think it should happen” he added. “I would actually be calling on other counties to pull out all together.

“Why would we put good money into developing teams into all that it takes to get inter-county teams onto the field for championship games or league games and it wouldn’t be there for the spectators?

“Our games are about our people, our spectators and our supporters, the GAA people are volunteers and they support of their family and friends and if they can’t have that, I can see no sense in playing.”

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