GPA Statement on Return to Play
1st of July 2020
The last week has seen significant progress being made towards the return of our games across the country. It is hugely positive to see pitches open again and teams getting back together.
However, that air of optimism has been eroded somewhat by the ‘club v county’ narrative that has developed. This is very unfortunate, given a few short weeks ago we had the very real possibility that we would not see any action in 2020. That risk very clearly remains when we see what is developing across the world.
Collectively, the GAA community have played a huge role in the tireless work this country has undertaken to fight Covid-19, which remains a very real threat to not just our games but society as a whole. Our focus needs to remain on following the protocols so that we minimise that risk to our communities and ensure we have a programme of games to enjoy at both club and county level.
As there is sustained negative discourse surrounding inter-county players, the GPA want to make the following points:
It should be noted that in the midst of the negative discourse surrounding ‘club v county’, inter-county players are incredibly proud and passionate to represent their communities; as a player it has always been club and county, not club v county.
The health of the inter-county game remains a vital component of the GAA’s success. It is vital in terms of showcasing our games and in providing an arena for the sports’ highest performers. It is also essential in terms of the unifying effect it has on clubs and communities and the sense of pride in place if offers. It is loved by GAA fans up and down the country and further afield and needs to be respected.
Covid-19 still presents a risk to our society, community and games. We must be united in our approach to addressing this challenge.