Vetting of GAA volunteers (26 Counties only)
Firstly, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank all GAA volunteers for their continued efforts in supporting those in need in our communities during the Covid-19 emergency. It is making a huge difference and even though our games are paused, it places the GAA at the heart of our communities when most needed.
Due to the ongoing nature and scale of this emergency, we have been requested to re-examine if any or all of our Covid-19 initiatives require that we vet our volunteers.
When the Community Call commenced, we highlighted that the collecting and delivering of shopping did not require our volunteers to be vetted once they did NOT enter the recipient’s residence. This is highlighted in the guidance we issued at the time. The instruction not to enter a person’s residence has not changed, and once followed, vetting is not required for this volunteer role.
We also highlighted that if anybody was volunteering, for example, with or on behalf of a HSE funded project that they would require to be vetted. The ‘Covid-19 initiative’ heading was added to the new GAA vetting drop box for this purpose. Again, this instruction has not changed.
There is however a change now in relation to those volunteering to deliver meals to people’s homes which is commonly known as ‘meals on wheels’ (according to our recent club survey this accounts for approximately 10% of the services offered by GAA clubs). The Garda National Vetting Bureau and Volunteering Ireland are of the view that where meals are delivered to a person’s home or residence and where our volunteer enters the person’s home for that purpose that this task requires vetting. As it is almost impossible to distinguish between those who deliver meals and do not enter a house or home and those who deliver meals and do enter a house or home, we have agreed to vet volunteers who participate in any ‘meals on wheels’ initiatives. (All other entities providing ‘meals on wheel’ in their community have also been asked to ensure all volunteers are vetted.)
We are therefore requesting all GAA Community Call groups who participate in meals on wheels initiatives to vet their volunteers who carry out this role. When applying for vetting they should do so through the GAA website at https://www.gaa.ie/the-gaa/child-welfare-and-protection/vetting and choose the ‘GAA Covid 19 Community Initiative’ role title.
Applicants will note many other role titles such as Coach, Match Officials etc. but on this occasion our meals on wheels volunteers should only choose the ‘GAA Covid-19 Community Initiative’ role title.
The expected turn-around for vetting approval is approximately one week.
Any queries on vetting can as always be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Guidelines for GAA Clubs/Units undertaking development Work during the Covid 19 Crisis (Applies to units across all 32 counties)
The Government’s roadmap for re-opening society and business outlines that from May 18 that we can “return to outdoor work”. This implies that construction and pitch development work can possibly be undertaken by our Clubs. It is acknowledged, that whilst the Association has stated that GAA facilities would remain closed for the time being, that Club Officers are anxious to use this time to undertake necessary work on facilities which will improve them and make them better for our members. In this regard Croke Park will allow limited permission for approved works to proceed from the 18 May within our facilities.
In deciding whether to start or re-start such improvement works the following guidelines must be adhered to:
- Financing of development works
Where developments and enhancements of facilities can be undertaken without recourse to borrowings, this is an ideal opportunity to undertake these works. However, clubs should factor into their decision making that there may be very limited further income this year before using up cash balances on capital works or maintenance. Clubs should be absolutely sure they have enough funding or forecasted income to see them through to the end of 2021 before incurring any capital spending at this time.
Where borrowings are required, Clubs are advised not to enter debt at the present time when the fundraising ability of our Clubs is significantly reduced due to the Public Health restrictions. The current crisis has given rise to a very difficult financial situation for all of our units, and indeed the wider economy, whilst we are all anxious to develop our facilities, we should take a prudent approach in this regard.
It should be noted that loans already approved from the GAA Development Fund will remain committed and in place, but drawdown will not be possible until things return to normal and all GAA activities re-commence.
Clubs should advise the Department of Sport (or other funders) where grants have been allocated that the project is being delayed due to the current restrictions.
Clubs are advised that there will be no capital development grants available in 2020 but works undertaken will be considered for grant aid in future years.
As per the terms and conditions of the GAA Insurance policy all construction activities must be notified and agreed in advance with GAA Insurance Department or GAA Insurance Brokers Marsh Ireland. Failure to notify development works in advance will result in the development being uninsured meaning the GAA Property & Liability Insurance policy will not extend to development when completed.
The requirements of The Association in relation to contractors undertaking construction work are as follows:
• Contractor to provide evidence of Public Liability insurance with a minimum limit of €6.5 Million
• Contractor to evidence of Employers Liability Insurance (if applicable) with a minimum limit of €13 Million
• Contractor to Provide evidence of Contractors All Risk Cover in place
• The limit of insurance on the Contractors All Risks policy must be equal or greater to that of the contract/ project.
• GAA club must be noted as Joint Insured in Contractors All Risk policy and are specifically indemnified (along with The Association) under the Contractors Liability Policy.
• A copy of the contract to be provided to the GAA Risk & Insurance Manager/Marsh Ireland in advance of any works taking place
• Contractor must operate the site in full compliance with Construction Industry SOP for Covid-19 return to work and have completed a Covid-19 risk assessment.
- Health & Safety
All developments and enhancements of Club facilities must adhere to current Health, Safety and Welfare legislation, must comply with all relevant medical advice in relation to the safe operation of workplaces, take account of construction industry guidelines (i.e. Construction Industry Federation – C-19 Pandemic Standard Operating Procedures and Construction Employers Federation NI guidance) adhere to all relevant Covid-19 specific legislation including social distancing measures.