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11ú Bealtaine 2021
Do: Gach Rúnaí Chontae
Gach Runaí Chlub
Covid Update for Counties and Clubs
Please note the important information below based on queries we have received in the past week:
Information for Clubs
Adult and Underage Training: From Monday, May 10th, both adult and underage training are permitted on a full contact basis in pods of 15 for all Gaelic Games teams in the 26 Counties. Games (including challenge games) will not be permitted until June 7th .
In the 6 Counties, full contact training for panels is permitted without any reference to pods; games are also currently permitted.
GAA Injury Benefit Fund cover remains in place until May 31st, 2021 based on 2020 team registrations as previously communicated. Details on the 2021 GAA Injury Benefit Fund cover/registration will issue in due course.
Indoor use of facilities: We wish to remind all clubs that use of indoor facilities for GAA activity is not permitted.
Gym facilities must remain closed (exception: A player on an inter county panel may use their relevant Club Gym for individual training as long as they are following the advice in the Inter County Return to Training and Play document)
The only instances where indoor facilities for non-GAA activities can be used are where:
Use by State bodies (e.g., HSE/Dept of Health/Dept of Education) is also permitted.
In the 6 Counties, Social Clubs/Bars serving both alcohol and food are permitted to open (serving outdoors only) in line with Executive protocols and subject to compliance with the relevant licensing laws.
Membership: Please note that May 31st, 2021 is the date by which members must be registered and paid by in order to have voting rights at the next club AGM. All playing members must be registered in advance of returning to play/train on Foireann in order for Injury Fund cover to be in place.
Officer Training: All Officer Training should continue to be delivered online. Outdoor coaching education courses may be held but are subject to a 15-person maximum.
Information for Counties:
Use of Buses for travel: The capacity limits for bus travel have increased from 25% of capacity to 50% of capacity from yesterday, Monday May 10th.
Training Camps: A reminder to all Counties that Training Camps involving overnight stays are not permitted in 2021.
Minor/U20 Challenge Games: Challenge matches at Minor and U20 inter county level cannot take place until June 10th under Government regulations.
Training for Talent Academy Squads: Training for Talent Academy squads can take place from June 5th – a full policy in this regard, including relevant dates for games, will be circulated in the coming days.
Registration of Senior Inter County Panels: A reminder that all Senior Inter County Panel members must be registered with the C.C.C.C by this evening in order to ensure players who are not in the match day 26 can be guaranteed entry to grounds for upcoming games. This must be completed by today (Tuesday, 11th May) and returned to firstname.lastname@example.org on the registration form previously circulated. Changes to the panel names can be made during the course of the season if required
Is muide, le meas,
Labhrás Mac Carthaigh Tomás Ó Riain
Uachtarán Ard Stiúrthóir
THE HSE has thanked the GAA community in Cork and Kerry for their support for the Covid-19 vaccination roll-out.
Vaccinations are now underway across both counties of people aged between 60 and 69 who have registered at hse.ie or 1850 24 1850.
The GAA in both Cork and Kerry have pledged to support anyone who needs help with the registration process, and to make sure that all clubs across both counties have details of the online and phone registration options.
Kerry GAA County Board chairman Tim Murphy said:
“The GAA has been glad to help our communities in any way possible throughout the pandemic, and we will continue that support now that we’re moving to a new phase of the vaccination roll-out. We’ll be sharing details of how to register with all of our clubs in the hope that they will encourage their members to register when asked to do so.”
Cork GAA County Board Chair Marc Sheehan said:
“We have seen GAA facilities called into action throughout the pandemic as test centres, and there is no community which hasn’t been impacted by Covid-19. As we reach a new phase of the pandemic, we are proud to see several GAA facilities in Cork used as vaccination centres. The GAA is a key part of every community across both our counties and we will make sure that no member of our community who needs support in registering is left behind.”
Michael Fitzgerald, the Chief Officer of Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, thanked the GAA organisations in both counties for their ongoing support.
“All of our communities have had a difficult time during the crisis caused by Covid-19, and the GAA has played a central role in supporting those communities. We have had unstinting support from the GAA whenever we have needed. Not only have we had access to GAA facilities when needed, clubs and members have done huge work to make sure that everyone in their community is supported.
CEO of the South South West Hospital Group Gerry O’Dwyer said:
“We are very grateful for this ongoing support, and looking forward to a time when this vaccination programme will allow us all back to enjoying training, matches and the many activities enabled by the GAA which are so central to life in our communities.”
To register online, you will need:
* Your Personal Public Services number (PPS).
* Your Eircode (this allows the booking system to match you to a vaccination centre).
* A mobile phone number
* An email address.
The 60 to 69 age-group are receiving their Astra Zeneca vaccine at one of the new HSE vaccination centres around Cork and Kerry.
Online registration at hse.ie is fast and easy, and telephone support is available on 1850 24 1850 (8am to 8pm, seven days a week). This registration process will be used to vaccinate large groups of the population by age, with everyone who registers receiving an appointment at one of the seven public vaccination centres across both counties.
Appointments are currently being scheduled for people who are aged 60-69 and who have registered.
Appointments for this age-group have already begun at:
* Mallow GAA complex
* Pairc Ui Chaoimh Cork
* West Cork (which alternates between Bantry Primary Care Centre and Clonakilty GAA club), Vaccinations have begun at Bantry PCC with the first appointments at Clonakilty on May 3rd.
* City Hall Cork
* Tralee MTU
* Killarney Sports and Leisure
Vaccination centres across Cork and Kerry have been established as a joint project between the South/South West Hospital Group and Cork Kerry Community Healthcare. Vaccination at the centres is by appointment only, and only people who have received a confirmed appointment from the HSE should attend at the vaccination centres and should bring photo ID.
For more information, see www.hse.ie
INFORMATION FOR CLUBS
Return to Training As you are aware non-contact training for underage teams in pods of 15 will be permitted from April 26th next in the 26 Counties. Our clubs in the North have returned in pods of 15 this week. “Underage teams” means any registered team at U-18 level or below.
Attached, please find the updated Guidelines for a Safe Return to Gaelic Games.
The key control measures remain completion of the online education module (which you can access here) and completion of the Health Questionnaire before each session (link to Health Questionnaire is here)
It is also important to remember that all indoor facilities must remain closed at this time, both North and South of the border.
Attendance at Training In general, only players and coaches of the relevant team should attend any training session. One Parent or Guardian per child (or per family if more than one child is attending from a particular family) is permitted to attend in a safeguarding /supervisory capacity involving any team in the U-18 or below age group, should they consider it necessary. However strict social distancing and public health guidelines should be adhered to at all times. In particular, it is important that parents do not congregate in groups before or after sessions, outside of what is permitted in current Government regulations.
Any person wishing to attend our underage training or games including coaches, parents, players and spectators shall be subject to the provisions of the Code of Behaviour (Underage).
INFORMATION FOR COUNTIES
Return to Training Inter County Senior Hurling and Football panels are permitted to return to collective, full contact Training from Monday, April 19th. Attached is an updated set of Guidelines for inter-county teams which we would ask you to ensure is circulated to all members of your county panels and backroom teams.
A key message from our Covid Advisory Group is to avoid indoor gatherings wherever possible. For instance, it is permitted to use dressing rooms or hold meetings indoors, but we would strongly encourage you to explore alternatives or minimise usage as much as possible. Keeping the majority of your interactions outdoors is the key measure to follow if you wish to ensure the safety of players and support personnel.
U20/Minor/Academy Squad Training For clarity, Counties are asked to note that the current exemptions for underage club training and senior inter county teams DO NOT extend to U20, Minor or Academy squads; only players from a county’s Senior Panel are currently covered by the player injury scheme. Return to Training dates for underage inter county panels are contingent on further relaxation of Government restrictions – the GAA will advise further once any new information is made available.
Challenge Games The current relaxations to Government restrictions do not permit Challenge games to take place (unless between members of the same panel). We have been advised that this will be the position until May 4th at the earliest. We are seeking to have this position revisited as part of any further relaxation of Government restrictions and we will communicate further with Counties as soon as we have any additional information in this context.
Use of Gyms It is now permitted to open County owned gyms for members of the County Senior Hurling or Football panel as required. If gym work, or aspects of it, can be conducted outdoors, then risk of transmission of the virus is dramatically reduced. Ideally Gym activity indoors should be conducted on an individual basis or in very small groups.
Inter County players may also use their relevant Club Gym for individual training as long as they are following the advice in the Inter County Return to Training and Play document.
Finally, we would ask you to ensure that both Return to Play Documents and this cover note are circulated to all County Team Managers and backroom personnel at your earliest convenience.
Is muide, le meas,
Labhrás Mac Carthaigh & Tomás Ó Riain
Uachtarán & Ard Stiúrthóir
CLUB SPECIFIC GUIDELINES
1. Club Games
Under the new Level 3 Restrictions announced by Government and which take effect from December 1st, Club games are not permitted – only approved inter-county games can take place.
2. Club Training
In level 3, underage and adult training can take place, but must be on a non-contact basis in pods of up to 15.
All clubs and players are reminded that Health Questionnaires and all other relevant control measures must continue to be followed.
No training of any kind is permitted at club level in the Six Counties, either outdoors or indoors until midnight on Thursday December 10th 2020 at the earliest. Further advice will issue from Ulster GAA once it is available
3. Use of Indoor Team Facilities
Dressing rooms, showers and all other indoor training facilities should remain closed for club activities.
Club Gyms in the 26 Counties may be opened for use by individuals only, with protective measures in place. Players/Teams must not train in groups.
Further advice on protective measures for gyms is included as an Appendix to this document. The GAA will continue to monitor the situation with regard to club gyms and if our Covid Advisory Group are not happy that the advice for use of gyms is being properly adhered to, it may lead to their closure again.
4. Committee Meetings
No indoor meetings can be held.
5. Officer Training
All officer Training must be delivered online. Outdoor coaching education courses may be held but are subject to a 15-person maximum.
6. Club Bars
Club Bars that do not serve food must remain closed until further notice
From Friday 4 December, Club bars that are operating as restaurants (i.e. serving a substantial meal) can open for indoor dining with additional restrictions, including a requirement for meals to be prepared on site, inside the premises, and with a maximum of 6 people per table.
Club bars must follow all the relevant protocols for the sector.
All Club bars in the six counties must remain closed or in the case of those offering restaurant services continue offering take away food only until midnight of Thursday 10th December 2020, at the earliest. Further advice will issue from Ulster GAA when it is available.
7. Indoor Events on GAA Property
Commercial use of indoor halls continues to be permitted where agreement was in place prior to March and relevant insurance are in place. Use by State bodies e.g. HSE/Schools is also permitted.
These are the only instances in which indoor activity is permitted on GAA Club property.
8. Outdoor Events on GAA Property
Gatherings of up to 15 people only are permitted. As such, fundraisers such as fittest family, Couch to 5k etc should not be organised.
Drive in events may be held subject to clubs requesting extension of insurance cover from Marsh Ireland or GAA Insurance section; however patrons must remain in their vehicle for the entire duration of the event with no access to club facilities including toilets. Cars attending such events should only contain people from their own pod.
Other events such as Poc Fada or Road bowling should only be organised if they can be limited to 15 people and face coverings must be worn.
ADVICE FOR 2ND LEVEL SCHOOLS AND 3RD LEVEL INSTITUTIONS
9. Games and Training
Neither competitive nor challenge games are permitted in 2nd Level schools.
Training is permitted on a non-contact basis in pods of no more than 15 people
Games are not permitted to take place at 3rd level under the latest Government restrictions – in addition, as it is recommended that Higher Education should remain primarily on line, no training sessions are permitted in 3rd level institutions in either jurisdiction until further notice.
INTER COUNTY SPECIFIC GUIDELINES
10. Training and Games at Senior, Minor and U20
The GAA are awaiting clarity from Government as to whether U20 and Minor games can take place. We will provide this to Counties as soon as it is available.
In the interim, Teams still involved in the 2020 Minor Hurling and Football and 2020 U20 Hurling and Football Championships are permitted to resume training from December 1st on a non-contact basis in pods of no more than 15 people.
The teams still involved in the 2020 All Ireland Senior Championships are permitted to continue training as normal.
Collective Training is NOT PERMITTED for any other inter county teams currently.
2021 Inter County Competitions The GAA is currently finalising its fixture programme for 2021. Each grade will have an appropriate pre-season identified for it to allow for adequate preparation for 2021 competitions.
The fixtures programme, as well as dates on which a Return to Collective Training will be permitted will be available in the near future.
In the interim, no collective training is permitted for 2021 inter county competitions.
11. Use of Indoor Team Facilities for Inter County Teams (2020 Championships)
As senior Inter county activity has been classified as an exemption to the normal restrictive provisions by the Government, use of indoor facilities for Inter County Teams only is permitted and should be carried out in accordance with the Return to Training and Play for Inter County Teams advice document issued in September.
Counties should ensure that where multiple teams are using the same venue for training (e.g. a Centre of Excellence) that only one team is on site at a given time.
Adult Club players living in a County classified as Level 3 may travel to their Home Counties to participate in Training.
12. Attendances at Inter County Games
In Level 3, all inter county games must be played behind closed doors.
Arrangements for the remaining games in the 2020 Championships in terms of access for additional panel members and backroom teams will be communicated directly to the Counties involved once clarity is received from Government in terms of what is specifically proposed (numbers allowed etc.)
For Minor intercounty games or training sessions staged behind closed doors and because they involve players aged 17 and under:
· One designated individual (parent/guardian) per player may attend a training session or game per child/family/group of children.
· The GAA Health Questionnaires MUST be completed by parents/guardians in advance of attendance.
Parents are NOT permitted to be in attendance at U20 games where their child (U18) is participating. However, provision can be made to allow an adult to be in close proximity (e.g. in the car park etc) in case medical or other emergency needs require their presence.
Appendix – Advice for Use of GAA Club Gyms
The following advice – taken from the Ireland Active Framework for Safe Operation should be followed when opening Gym facilities:
• Social distancing of 2m should always be maintained
• Participants should not congregate before or after activities, and facilities should design internal flows to reflect this.
• Facilities should plan for a maximum of 1 person/4 square metres* (2mx2m) and in accordance with government advice on maximum capacities for indoor activities.
• Ensure adequate ventilation, avoiding recycling of air to avoid possibility of infection, in accordance with HSE/HSA guidance
• Carry out frequent cleaning of surfaces and wipe downs of contact surfaces with single use disinfectant wipes or strong disinfectants and microfibre cloths.
• Users should not share towels, water bottles etc.
• All of the standard infection control guidance from the HSE should be heeded.
• There should be no hands-on adjustments or physical contact during training.
• Spacing of exercise machines/equipment should be undertaken to ensure 2m distance between equipment. An alternative may be to use every second piece of equipment or the closing of certain stationary equipment to ensure 2m distancing.
• Equipment which is 2m apart should not be placed where exercisers are facing each other.
• Spin bikes should be staggered and spaced 2m apart to avoid spray back.
• Loose equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells, free weights etc. should be used by one exerciser and cleaned in between each use by users/staff.
• Booking of time slots should be employed in order to enable safe management and recording of users in the facility.
• Where spotting of weights is being undertaken, face coverings should be worn
All areas, within the gym, where social distancing is particularly challenging should be kept closed – Players should not enter the gym facility prior to their assigned reservation
Adequate signage and reminders should be provided at entrances and in strategic places within the gym providing instruction on social distancing, hand hygiene, use of cloth face coverings or masks, and cough and sneeze etiquette.
A meeting of the County Committee was held online via Teams Live on Tuesday November 3rd. County Chairperson Tracey Kennedy welcomed delegates, explained the delay in having a meeting and thanked all who had worked so hard for Cork GAA throughout the past few months. She also noted the success of the new County Championship format.
Runaí Kevin O’Donovan gave an update on Páirc Uí Chaoimh, noting the quality of the pitch last Sunday despite the bad weather and thanking all sponsors who had come on board with purchasing pitch advertising. He noted the work of commercial manager Sinéad O’Keeffe in this area. In response to queries, the runaí reported that it was hoped to have an update on the audit of the stadium accounts later this week, and that they were due to be presented to the stadium board at its next meeting. No information had yet been received about government funding for GAA clubs. The Chairperson thanked Niamh and the staff at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Richard Murphy, Michael Byrne and the event team and John Murphy and Stephen Forrest who look after the pitch for all their hard work on the staging of recent games.
In an update on finances, Kevin O’Donovan noted and thanked county championship sponsors Co-Op Superstores and Bon Secours Hospital also The Irish Examiner for coming on board as streaming partners. He confirmed that The Irish Examiner had paid a fee to Cork GAA for the rights to stream games for 3 years. Kevin thanked both Sinead O’ Keeffe (Commercial Manager) and Michelle Hussey (Accounts Manager) for all their work in relation to both Cork GAA and Páirc Uí Chaoimh. He also thanked the season ticket holders and the premium seat holders for their understanding in relation to ticket distribution for the county championship games. Chairperson Tracey Kennedy added her thanks to the sponsors for coming on board and said she was delighted to have really strong brands associated with Cork GAA, particularly in this challenging year, and looked forward to the development of those relationships into the future. She also noted the contribution of Sinéad O’Keeffe to these partnerships.
Kevin O’Donovan again outlined the plan for the new Rebels’ Bounty fundraiser and dealt with various queries submitted by clubs. The launch date had been delayed by Covid-19 but he hoped that this could take place in the coming weeks. In terms of a brochure, as requested by many clubs, Kevin reported that this and other promotional material would be supplied to clubs as soon as possible. Clubs were reminded that a recording of the webinar has been emailed to them, which they may wish to use at meetings. The approval process was outlined and clubs will be contacted in relation to this in the very near future.
In relation to inter-county teams, since the last County Committee meeting the Under 20 Footballers had lost the Munster Final to Kerry in March. Last month the Minor Hurlers had defeated Clare and the Under 20 Hurlers had defeated Kerry. The Minor Footballers were due to play Kerry this weekend. The two Minor competitions along with Under 20 Hurling competition were currently paused. The Senior Hurlers lost to Waterford last weekend and play Dublin this Saturday while the Senior Footballers play Kerry this Sunday. The Chairperson said that the Hurlers’ game would be shown on Sky Sports but people with Sky didn’t need Sky Sports to watch it as the game was on Sky Sports Mix and the Runaí informed delegates that there was was also an option to purchase a day or month pass on Now TV. The Chairperson wished both senior teams well in their vital games this weekend.
The runaí reported that a sub-committee of the Executive had submitted a report on independent teams, which had been discussed and approved by the Executive and referred to the CCC, which would set up a sub-group to monitor and support such teams.
An update was given on County Convention, which will be held online on Monday December 7th . Those wishing to seek nomination would need to do so by clubs as per normal but a shorter time would be given for people to withdraw their name (nominations by 9am on Monday November 9th; withdrawals by 9am on Thursday November 12th). Votes received by ordinary post would be allowed but no votes could be hand delivered. It is asked that clubs would not submit motions unless strictly necessary due to the complications of online voting, and the chairperson pointed out that a special convention could be held during the year if necessary, if restrictions were lifted. A returning officer and tellers would need to be put in place for officer elections and the Executive will contact clubs further on this.
In officer reports, Development officer Pat Horgan listed the developments that had been approved by the Executive during the year. He also spoke about upcoming AGMs that would be held online at Club and Divisional level. He would be meeting with Terry Brady (IT Officer) and Joseph Blake (Cork PRO) to discuss and they would in turn be in contact with the clubs and divisions. Pat also mentioned about how Office 365 training had not been fully finished in March due to Covid-19. Coaching Officer Ronan Dwane had submitted a report on coaching in the Progress Report.
Vice–chairperson Marc Sheehan, gave a CCC update. He said that remaining county championships would be completed next year, but that would not happen for the county under 21 championships. Marc also referred to the first presentation of the Jim Forbes Cup.
The County Chairperson congratulated the 3 County Champions, Blackrock, Charleville and Blarney on their wins and thanked the CCC for their dedication, noting the particularly difficult decisions they had to make this year.
In other business, the County Chairperson also congratulated Larry Tompkins and Denis Coughlan on their recently published autobiographies and wished them well with them.
Votes of sympathy were read and this concluded the business of the meeting.
The next meeting will be Tuesday November 24th.
Further to the advice document on running Club AGMs issued on 2ú Deireadh Fómhair, The GAA wish to bring your attention to additional resources.
You are asked to note these resources and share them with your fellow Officers.
CLUB AGM WEBINAR
A webinar has been created to explain how Clubs might organise AGMs in the context of the current restrictions which have been imposed to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Liam Keane (Chairperson of the GAA Rules Advisory Committee) explains the key considerations in the webinar.
Access here: https://youtu.be/IzNzn0lDmYA
Club Officers have the option of submitting additional queries for consideration by the Association using an online form.
Access here: Club AGM Query Form
Responses will be collated and reviewed by the relevant GAA Committees. Additional information or training to provide clarification on the main issues will be provided as required.
User guides for hosting virtual AGMs via Microsoft Teams are also now available. Please find attached: