We hope this communication finds you and your families well in what are the strangest of times, not least because of the absence of games and activities. We would like to commend you all for your efforts to date and thank you for playing your part in ensuring that our club has followed the guidelines laid down by the authorities. To date, over the course of the pandemic, we have followed the lead of the GAA, who have in turn taken their advice from the medical experts. To that end, it is timely that we should inform you of recent developments and how they impact on our games in the weeks ahead.
After the government published their roadmap on May 1, the GAA responded last Wednesday by confirming July 20, as the target date for a return to action for GAA clubs across the island. Furthermore, October has been singled out as the month most likely to see inter-county activity. The Association at central level has asked for further clarification around how social distancing will be practiced by our players in the contact sports that are Gaelic games. The GAA President, speaking on the Sunday Games last weekend, offered the view that as long as the current social distancing rules apply, it will be difficult to see a return to the playing of our games but there is still 10 weeks before the target date in July for progress to be made on this front.
Follow this link for full interview – it is the first segment of the show: https://www.rte.ie/player/series/the-sunday-game-classics/SI0000006945?epguid=IH000391480&seasonguid=135488040308
The GAA has adopted a responsible stance since the outbreak of this crisis and on a local basis we like to think we have played our part in that approach.
It’s with this in mind that Round Tower GAA Club will be not be returning to training or the playing of games before July 20 or until Croke Park and the Dublin County Board instruct us that is safe to do so. This applies to all of our footballers, hurlers, camógs and underage players at all ages and all grades. Our facilities will remain closed and the GAA have informed us that the Player Injury Scheme remains closed.
The activities of the club in these difficult times have been a great source of pride to all of us. The food distribution network being overseen by Dave Maguire and his team of volunteers, our brave club members working selflessly on the front line, the online musical entertainment and the wide range of positive social messaging – much of it team-based – have all combined to raise our spirits. So too have the collection of medical supplies from members for hospital workers and the volunteer maintenance work that has seen our facilities kept in pristine condition. In addition, the fundraising initiatives involving our senior footballers and others that have benefitted ‘Do it for Dan’, Pieta House and The Mater Foundation have served as reminders of the positive influence of the GAA family.
We are all extremely keen to see a return to action at the earliest opportunity but we ask you to ‘Hold the Line’ as requested by the government and play our part in stopping the spread of the virus and saving lives. As mentioned in the GAA President’s interview, if the GAA moves before July 20 to open facilities for the purposes of safe walking, particularly for older club members, we will review our arrangements in an effort to facilitate our members.
It is worth recalling that the government roadmap can go two ways – it can remain on track by meeting its deadlines and target dates, perhaps even surpassing expectations and exceeding the timelines around the different phases in advance, or it can be delayed and put back leaving us with the prospect of 2020 with no games.
We urge all of our members to continue to play your part in helping us all get on top of this pandemic by following the instruction and advice of the experts in the hope that we will all be gathered on pitches, side-lines and in our clubhouse as soon as it is safe to do so.
Executive Committee, Round Tower GAA Club
Coiste Feidhmiúcháin, Cumann An Chloigthí CLG