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Covid Restrictions - Oct 23rd

Following the government's decision to move the entire country to Level 5 restrictions from Wednesday night for 6 weeks there was some confusion as to what restrictions would be in place with regards individual training in sport which was permitted in the original framework released by the government.

Sport Ireland have now clarified the Level 5 restrictions with regard to sport as follows.

With regards to Level 5 restrictions, no training or matches should take place with the following exceptions:

  • Non-contact training can continue for school aged children, outdoors in pods of 15 (see guidance below)
  • Professional, elite sports and senior inter-county Gaelic games, horse-racing and greyhound racing are permitted to continue behind closed doors.

The decision of Government is that all gyms, leisure centres, swimming pools and other sports facilities must close in the Level 5 restrictions. This includes both indoor and outdoor sports facilities.

Therefore, in compliance with Level 5 restrictions and government instructions all GAA Handball activities are suspended for the duration of Level 5 restrictions. This is to include all games, training, and gatherings.

I have no doubt that this news will come as a huge disappointment to our members especially when we were starting to enjoy our games once more. This is a difficult and uncertain time for all our members but I would appeal to all our members to comply with the level 5 restrictions and government advice to help stop the spread of the virus and enable us to return to action in as short a timeframe as is possible. We will continue to issue updates as they are available.

Non-contact training for school aged children

Specific guidance on non-contact training for school agreed children will be issued by Government. In the interim, the following is advised:
- Underage activity refers to those in primary and secondary school who are aged 18 years and younger
- Participants and coaches may travel beyond the 5km limit to attend training. Car-pooling should continue to be avoided
- Outdoor facilities may open only to allow the activity to take place. Only those participating in and conducting the training session should attend.

Following a request for clarification from Sport Ireland in terms of what sports were classified as elite and inter county the following clarification was received.

Professional & Elite Sport is defined as:

  • Professional sports people or sports people who participate within professional competition.
  • A Member of a high-performance team funded by Sport Ireland.
  • Those who compete at major international events including European and World Championships, Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is advised that these are senior athletes only within one of the following categories: 

* Athletes on the 2020 International Carding Scheme
* Players on the 2020 Team Ireland Golf Scheme
* Senior riders in Show-Jumping, Eventing & Dressage
* Senior team players in Hockey, Cricket, and Rugby Sevens.

Inter-county sport 

Refers specifically to senior competition organised by the Gaelic Athletic Association, the Ladies Gaelic Football Association or the Camogie Association.


Please note the following updates in relation to the restrictions:

  • AGMs- Further guidance will issue in the coming days in relation to AGM's with the current restrictions in place. 
  • GAA Handball Clar - A meeting of GAA Handball Ard Comhairle will take place to discuss the Clar for the remainder of the year and the ramifications for same of the level 5 restrictions in place. Further communication will issue in this regard following this meeting.
  • GAA Handball Online Shop- Due to restrictions in place around working from home and travel please note that shop orders will not be able to be processed at present.


We encourage our members to continue to abide by the guidelines on social distancing, wearing of masks and sanitizing. As always as this is an ever-changing situation and further updates will be issued when available.

Stay safe and thank you as always for your cooperation.

Is mise le meas,
John Kelly,
National Manager,

GAA Handball