Dublin football team will not face sanctions for Covid-19 breaches

Organisers of training sessions at Innisfails GAA club will not face prosecution

A view of the Dublin crest at Croke Park. Dublin footballers will not face any sanctions for Covid-19 breaches. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inphi

A view of the Dublin crest at Croke Park. Dublin footballers will not face any sanctions for Covid-19 breaches. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inphi

 

Organisers of a training session involving members of the Dublin Football team will not face fines or criminal charges.

The players were photographed by The Irish Independent in training shortly before 7am at Innisfails GAA club off the Malahide Road at Balgriffin, north Dublin on March 31st.

This was three weeks before intercounty GAA training was allowed take place. The Association had warned teams not to jump the gun before this date.

Over the last month, gardaí spoke to senior members of the Dublin panel as part of their investigation into the alleged breach.

Following completion of the inquires, the Garda sought the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on whether the players or the organisers of the training sessions should face penalties.

It was decided that the situation should be dealt without recourse to fines or further prosecution.

They also determined that, although the organising of training sessions was banned under the Covid regulations at the time, this was not a penal provision, meaning there could be no criminal penalty.

“An Garda Síochána has completed an investigation and advises of the Director of Public Prosecutions were sought,” the Garda said in a statement.

“Regulation 11 placed restriction on organising training events. Regulation 11 was not declared to be a penal regulation, therefore no prosecution could be initiated.

Following an internal investigation by the GAA, Dublin manager Dessie Farrell was given a three-month ban. Mr Farrell was not present at the training session.

In a previous statement the Dublin team apologised for the session and said an serious error of judgment had been made.

Garda have issued just under 21,000 fines for Covid breaches to date, the vast majority for non-essential travel.