The Gaelic Athletic Associations says it is not ruling out the possibility of matches "behind closed doors later this year."

In a statement issued on May 6, the GAA said: “The GAA still firmly hopes to be able to play county and club competitions this year, subject of course to public health guidance. We can confirm however that no inter-county games are expected to take place before October.

“Counties are asked, in the interest of players, to suspend all inter-county training until further notice. There will be a phased resumption of training at both club and county level to allow players to prepare appropriately for playing games.

“While not categorically ruling out the possible staging of games behind closed doors later in the year, there appears to be a lack of appetite for this type of fixture-scheduling at the current time across the wider Association.”

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The association also announced the formation of a “dedicated Covid-19 Advisory Group which will advise the Association on matters relating to return to play protocols and other similar issues."

“The outcome of this group’s work will be a graduated approach, informed and guided by the recently published government Roadmap and by Government policy from Stormont," the statement said.

The GAA also said in its statement: “The GAA notes and welcomes the plans published by the government last Friday [May 1] and some of the dates included relating to the possible return of sporting activity, including Gaelic games.

“The Association will attempt to seek clarity around some of the issues that have arisen in internal discussions since last Friday including the challenge of social distancing in contact sport.

“GAA facilities are to remain closed as part of efforts to prevent gatherings which breach the restrictions.

"We are instructing our clubs and counties to continue to adhere to the restrictions and to refrain from organising on-field activity. These measures are expected to remain in place until July 20."

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The July 20 date is referenced in the Irish government's roadmap to reopen Ireland that was published on May 1. Government officials have reiterated that the current roadmap is a “living” document and will be adjusted as needed in response to public health advice.

Here is the breakdown of phases for the Cultural & Social track of the roadmap:

Phase 1 (May 18): Open outdoor public amenities, incl. pitches, tennis courts and golf courses. tourism sites, beaches and walks. Outdoor sporting and fitness activities, in groups max. four people, resume All subject to social distancing.

Phase 2 (June 8): Open public libraries. Small group team sports training (not matches) resume. All subject to social distancing.

Phase 3 (June 29): Open playgrounds. / Behind closed doors sporting activities. Open cafés and restaurants providing on-premises food & beverages—all subject to social distancing and strict cleaning protocols

Phase 4 (July 20): Museums, galleries and places of worship re-open. Sports and team leagues (e.g. Soccer & GAA) and swimming pools. All subject to social distancing.

Phase 5 (August 10): Pubs, bars, nightclubs, theatres, cinemas and casinos. Close physical contact sports. Open gyms, exercise, dance studios and other indoor and outdoor festivals, events and mass gatherings.

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