Is it time for contact sport to return? GAA president John Horan thinks not

Conflicting stance

Former GAA president Sean Kelly questioned the stance taken by his successor John Horan and said that it would look “strange” if Gaelic games wait for the end of social distancing measures before returning when other sports look set to resume.

Horan effectively ruled out the possibility of Gaelic sports matches being played while social distancing measures remain in place throughout Ireland, the serving president saying: “I can’t see it happening to be quite honest. If social distancing is a priority to deal with this pandemic, I don’t know how we can play a contact sport.”


Looking strange

Horan’s predecessor, Kelly, challenged that view by responding:”The GAA is there to play games, so we should be ready to play games when it is given the go-ahead by the authorities.

“We shouldn’t be saying we’re not going to play any games this year. I think we have to look at the direction from the Government and the health authorities.

“But if they say it is okay and then there are games played in England and the continent and we’re not playing, then that is going to look rather strange.

“You are always better off giving people something they can look forward to rather than saying that nothing is going to happen.

“We should be prepared to work and open as soon as we are given the authority to do so.”


Other activities

Kelly believes that GAA pitches should be open for other activities, even walking.

He continued: “I think it has been quite good. It has been difficult. I’d admire the resilience and the clubs who have helped out with guards of honours for people who have died and people helping the elderly.

“But it is also difficult to see a sign when you walk by your local field a sign that says ‘closed’.

“I would hope that be lifted in some way soon, even if people could go in and go for a walk and observe the rules.”


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