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Horan: Two-metre rule a major stumbling block for GAA

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BARRIER: John Horan. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

BARRIER: John Horan. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

BARRIER: John Horan. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

GAA president John Horan has restated the position that as long as social distancing measures were in place there would be a reluctance to return to competitive action.

But in an interview with GAA.ie Horan specifically referenced the two-metre distance currently in place as being the "big hurdle," possibly bringing resumption closer if there was any reduction in that.

Earlier this week, chief medical officer Tony Holohan said he wouldn't be recommending a reduction for this country but there has been some political pressure as the World Health Organisation recommends a distance of at least one metre.

"There's no talking about 'we won't be back until there is a vaccine' and there is no talking about 'we won't be back until social distancing is acceptable' but as long as social distancing is the priority at two metres, that is a big hurdle for us to bring back contact sport," said Horan

He said that if conditions prevail to bring forward the current July 20 resumption date they will do that and acknowledged the "frustration" that existed over the closure.

"I fully understand that there is a huge frustration out there and you can see articles in the media where people are pushing to actually go back but if you take into account what the Government has said, the Government guideline pushes out to a date of July 20.

"We have never pushed beyond that date. As I have said in a previous interview, if we can bring that forward we will bring it forward but we will only do it in a prudent manner and a manner that is safe for our membership. I do sympathise. There are parts of Ireland where outbreaks of Covid-19 are low and people may feel safe there but overall it's across the Association we have to stay in this together.

"The big challenges are in urban areas and I understand that and I do get a feel for the frustration and people are contacting me about that frustration. But we have to make safe and prudent decisions.

"The Government has made no distinction in how business and everything else functions in the country and I don't think it is incumbent on us to step out of line with any of that. We will have to just work together on this. I understand the challenges for clubs from a financial point of view but we are looking at this, we're doing our best on this.

"I'm not going to come out and make populist false promises about anything we can or can't do for clubs. But we are aware of it all."

Horan also said that Kerry GAA chairman Tim Murphy had told him of a conversation with the Kerry county manager said the local council would not have been able to deal with the problems they had without GAA support.