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Anger and confusion as fans prevented from attending matches

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LOCKED OUT: Michael Cronin (Chairman of Spa GAA) and Fergal Moynihan (Chairman of Legion GAA) are furious over the latest Government proposals for sport. Photo: Michelle Crean

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By Sean Moriarty

 

Local GAA clubs have reacted with shock and disappointment following the Government’s decision to ban spectators from matches until at least September 13.

 

Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced a range of new measures on Tuesday in an effort to contain the second spread of COVID-19.

One of the biggest restrictions is the complete banning of spectators from all sporting events. This came as a huge blow to local GAA clubs. The 2020 Garvey’s Senior Football Championship gets underway this weekend.

“The general view is that Government took the soft option having failed to agree on more unpopular decisions,” Spa GAA Club Chairman Michael Cronin said. “People are fairly fed up both with the Government and even the GAA itself as people paid up full membership and the club paid full insurance, but the club was closed for four months and people are still unable to see games.”

It was hoped that the number of attendees at games would increase from the previously allowed 200 people to 500 - but Tuesday’s decision went the opposite way.

“We are very disappointed with the decision. Totally unexpected. We were expecting the exact opposite. People were looking forward to seeing County Championship and quarter finals of the club championships," Michael added.

Legion Chairman Fergal Moynihan told the Killarney Advertiser that “it is a big blow for people".

“For club games it is a family thing, parents, partners, children want to go and support their players and it is the main part for them to be physically there. It was very difficult on club secretaries who had to turn people away and it was hoped that the increase to 500 would take the pressure off – it is gone the other way.”

GAA clubs in Killarney say this is unfair after they followed all guidelines in place since June 29. These included the extra work load of ticket issuing and the management of same. They are also baffled by the decision as there is no evidence that fans who attended matches since June 29 are contributing to the virus spread.

“Club fixtures are going to be very important this year,” Fergal added. “It is still emerging what is going to happen. The chances of inter-county games seem slim right now and the club championship will become even more important."

Clubs have warned too that they face financial difficulties in the future. The lack of spectators attending matches is having a negative impact on club’s balance sheets, Lotto income is reduced too due to pub closures but expenditure is increased due to new COVID-19 safety protocols.

“There won’t be a single club in the county that will be impacted by this,” added Fergal. “Even the County Board will be impacted.”

Policing the new rules will be difficult too.

“Clubs are working hard to keep all players training and involved in games. If parents alone can attend games the impact of this decision may not be as severe,” added Michael. “We can’t see any club turning people away from a gate at a club game at any level. The clubs will be expecting those same people to support their Lotto and other events.”

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The tax you’re really paying for your health

By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness With the budget just squared away, there’s always an air of “how did I do out of it?” In Ireland, we enjoy a public healthcare system which is touted to become a universal healthcare system. Maybe “enjoy” is the wrong word. We have it, and we use it, and, […]

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By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness

With the budget just squared away, there’s always an air of “how did I do out of it?”

In Ireland, we enjoy a public healthcare system which is touted to become a universal healthcare system. Maybe “enjoy” is the wrong word.

We have it, and we use it, and, of course we pay for it. We justify the constant ratcheting-up of our tax burden to pay for rising health-care costs. That tax is on our wallets.

We also pay another type of tax: When we’re unhealthy, we don’t get to do the things we like. When we’re overweight, we don’t always say “YES!” when our kids ask to go to the swimming pool.
When we’re unfit, we don’t take our buddy’s invitation for a weekend hiking and camping trip. We can’t start jogging because our knees hurt; can’t lift weights because our back hurts; can’t cut down calories because we feel we need the energy.

Those things are taxes. Physical taxes, but they’re not the worst taxes we pay.

The worst tax we pay is the mental tax.

When we’re self-conscious about our fitness or health, we don’t want to start exercising. We don’t want to look dumb or fail.

We don’t want to start a new lifestyle because our families will say “good for you”, because they know we need it, or they’ll say “you don’t need that …” and lie. Or they’ll roll their eyes because they know we’ve failed before.

When we’ve been away from the gym for four months, we don’t want to do that first workout because we’re going to be last. It’s going to suck and we might get embarrassed.

SELF IMPOSED TAX

The Government makes us pay financial tax, but the other two – physical and mental – are self-imposed.

No one cares if you’re slow.

No one cares if you finish last.

No one cares if you blow your nutrition this week and have to start all over again.

You’d stop caring about what others thought about you if you realised how rarely they actually do.

Everyone thinks about themselves, mostly. That’s the tax they’re paying – and most of us overpay.

We’re taxed enough. Stop worrying about what you look like and start caring about what makes you feel good.

If you’d like to start taking steps in the right direction with your health and fitness, call in for a free consultation with us at Activate. Visit www.activate.ie/free-intro for more information.

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Tractor run raises €500 for charity

By Sean Moriarty Members of Killarney Valley Vintage and Classic Club raised €500 for the Kerry Mental Health Association during their first tractor run since April 2019. 30 tractors took part on Sunday including two rare Ford 3000s from 1974 and an even rarer Zetor Crystal from 1980. Departing from the club’s new ‘Vintage Shed’ […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Members of Killarney Valley Vintage and Classic Club raised €500 for the Kerry Mental Health Association during their first tractor run since April 2019.

30 tractors took part on Sunday including two rare Ford 3000s from 1974 and an even rarer Zetor Crystal from 1980.

Departing from the club’s new ‘Vintage Shed’ on Lewis Road, the convoy travelled to the communications mast near Coolick in Kilcummin, where participants enjoyed views of the wider Castleisland district and Killarney Valley.

“Some of the drivers were never up there before and they were amazed with the views across the two valleys,” organiser Tom Leslie told the Killarney Advertiser.

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