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Hurling

Minister calls for larger panels and backroom teams to attend All-Ireland final

Limerick T.D. and Minister of State for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins is calling for...



Minister calls for larger pane...
Hurling

Minister calls for larger panels and backroom teams to attend All-Ireland final

Limerick T.D. and Minister of State for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins is calling for larger panels and backroom teams to be allowed to attend the upcoming All-Ireland final.

Fianna Fail's Deputy Collins, who has represented the Limerick County constituency since 2016, says he has contacted the Taoiseach and Ministers for Sport in relation to the matter.

In a statement on Sunday evening, after Collins' native Limerick booked their place in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship final with a semi-final win over Galway, he said cutting squads and backroom teams down to comply with Covid-19 guidelines has been 'very difficult, divisive and unfair to players and those associated with the teams.'

He went on to say that 'there is every reason to believe that this can be accommodated safely.'

The full statement from Minister Collins on Sunday evening read,

"It’s brilliant that the Limerick hurlers are back in another All Ireland Hurling final, our second in three years.

"The All Ireland series, both hurling and football has been great to watch and so important for many people during the Covid 19 lockdown. It has really helped in keeping a small sense of normality.

"This evening (Sunday 29th November) I have spoken with An Taoiseach Micheal Martin and both Ministers in the Department of Sport, Catherine Martin and Jack Chambers seeking an increase in the numbers that can attend Croke Park for the final on December 13th next.

"Limiting the numbers to 40 for each team who can gain access to the stadium has proven to be very difficult, divisive and unfair to players and those associated with the teams. We are now at the final stage and a modest increase in numbers could be implemented safely.

"Attendance of extended panel players, backroom personnel, family and County Board members for both teams should be considered.

"An All-Ireland Final is a truly unique once off occasion and given the vast size of Croke Park and it being an outdoor venue, there is every reason to believe that this can be accommodated safely. I know that the GAA and the officials in the Department of Sport are in communication and I truly believe that a solution can be worked out."

In line with guidelines from the Covid-19 Advisory Group's guidance document on the safe resumption of intercounty activities within the Gaelic Games family, the matchday panel for 2020 is limited to what is provided for in general rule - 26 players (GAA), 27 (Ladies Gaelic Football), 30 (Camogie) - and only these players will be granted entry
to the ground.

For Championship games, these players must be registered with the Central Competitions Control Committee by 10am on the Thursday morning before a game as per existing practice
and rule (note: not relevant to Ladies football or Camogie).

A maximum of 9 additional backroom personnel (GAA) will be granted access as well as the County Chairman and Secretary or their nominees (total = 37 per County GAA/Ladies football;
40 Camogie).

This is to allow for the Manager and 3 selectors (including Maor Fóirne), Strength and Conditioning Coach, Coach, Doctor, Physio and up to two Massage therapists.

A number of managers have spoken out about how tough it has been to select who from their panel and backroom teams can attend games over the course of the championships.

Mick Bohan, manager of the Dublin Senior Ladies Footballers, said it was "shockingly difficult" to leave players at home following their TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football semi-final win over Armagh on Saturday.

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All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final Covid-19 Croke Park