Live

Repeat: Off The Ball

02:00 AM-05:00 AM

Repeat: Off The Ball

Hurling

"Why would GAA players be any different to anybody else?" | Shane Dowling on return to play

Limerick and Na Piarsaigh hurler Shane Dowling says he cannot see how there is an 'argument' to play GAA once social distancing measures are in place.

The 2018 All-Ireland winner exclusively told OTB he doesn't understand why it would be safe to hold matches behind closed doors, but not safe to have any crowds there during the pandemic.

"There's some people I can't understand and there's some people that I can. I thought (GAA President) John Horan was exceptional on The Sunday Game on Sunday night. He's definitely the best person I have heard speak about it, in terms of his views on it. People going on about playing games behind closed doors, I can't quite understand it. I thought John hit the nail on the head. If it's safe for the players to play, then it's safe for people to attend the games.

Dowling believes there has been confusing commentary about what he feels is a straightforward situation.

"I read one particular interview last week - they were going on about social distancing, having players going into dressing rooms four at a time - having four in, four out going to matches, in twos rather than fours - that we are queuing up in supermarkets - so we could queue to go into dressing rooms - but then goes on to say - but go and play a match afterwards.

"I couldn't get my head around it. How could you go about social distancing in dressing rooms, but 10 minutes later go out onto a pitch and be hanging off each other?"

Shane Dowling on return

Dowling says there needs to be clear guidance from the health service about the way forward before any return to play.

"I would be wary until (Chief Medical Officer) Tony Holohan or the hierarchy up there come out and say it's safe for a congregation of people of 100, 500, a thousand to come together and they don't have the social distancing.

"If Tony Holohan comes out and says that we have to social distance until there is a vaccine, I don't see any other way around it (by not playing).

"Why would GAA players be any different to anybody else in the country? We still have to go home to our houses. I was talking to one particular club player the other day who has got a parent at home with an underlying condition and they certainly won't play until it's safe to do so. If it's not safe to do so, they won't play. I don't get the big rigmarole about it."

He added that money can't be a factor when it comes to resuming GAA activity.

"I saw another particular interview where someone said that there's a big financial benefit to get out of playing these games. Forget about the financial benefit, worry about the safety."

GAA facilities are closed until July 20th and some volunteers would like pitches open before then.

Dowling says it's not a one size fits all situation when it comes to the safety of gathering at clubs.

"It's a very tricky situation. Take Na Piarsaigh, my own club. We have got fantastic facilities, we've got three big pitches, we have a huge space. We would be able to go in and puck around in fours and keep social distancing. We could have maybe 10 or 12 or 15 groups of four going in and pucking around, and I know it wouldn't be a problem.  But you have other clubs, a lot of other rural clubs, they've just got the one pitch. It would be very hard for them to manage that. It can't be one rule for one and one rule for another. It has to be one rule across the board."

Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.


Live: Title

Description

Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Next up in queue

Title
Description
Duration

There are currently no podcasts in the queue

Go to podcasts

On Air

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

02:00 AM-05:00 AM

Share

Up next

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

05:00 AM-07:00 AM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

07:00 AM-07:30 AM

Share

LIVE: OTB AM

LIVE: OTB AM

07:30 AM-10:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

10:00 AM-12:00 PM

Share

Richie’s Isolation Mix

Richie’s Isolation Mix

12:00 PM-01:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

01:00 PM-02:00 PM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

02:00 PM-05:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Monday Night Rugby

LIVE: Monday Night Rugby

05:00 PM-06:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

06:00 PM-07:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Newsround

LIVE: Newsround

07:00 PM-07:30 PM

Share

LIVE: Off The Ball

LIVE: Off The Ball

07:30 PM-08:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Monday Night Rugby

LIVE: Monday Night Rugby

08:00 PM-09:00 PM

Share

LIVE: The Football Show

LIVE: The Football Show

09:00 PM-10:00 PM

Share

Off The Bench

Off The Bench

10:00 PM-11:00 PM

Share

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

11:00 PM-12:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

12:00 AM-02:00 AM

Share

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

02:00 AM-05:00 AM

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on