Clubs say precautionary move will be reviewed when members’ test results received

Three west Cork GAA clubs suspend activity amid Covid-19 concerns

Three GAA clubs in west Cork have temporarily halted all activity as a precautionary measure amid fears that some club members may have come in contact with a person who recently tested positive for Covid-19.

Argideen Rangers from Timoleague, Ballinascarthy and St Oliver Plunkett's from Ahiohill have taken the decision to suspend activity.

There has been no official confirmation from either HSE or GAA authorities but it is believed that members of Argideen Rangers and Ballinascarthy may have been at a house party in west Cork last week attended by a person who subsequently tested positive for the virus.

It is understood a number of players from both Argideen Rangers and Ballinascarthy have since been tested for the virus and the results have come back negative.


Argideen Rangers, the club of 1990 All-Ireland-winning Cork hurler Mark Foley, posted a statement outlining the situation on its Facebook page. "This is a precautionary measure and is because a number of club members have told us that they may have been in contact with a person subsequently confirmed to have Covid-19.

“We in Argideen Rangers GAA feel it sensible and prudent to ensure to temporarily suspend both underage and adult group activities. We understand that anyone identified by Public Health authorities as a close contact will be tested for Covid-19.”

‘Tracing protocols’

Ballinascarthy GAA posted: "Please note collective team training at all grades is temporarily suspended to comply with HSE public health advice and guidance from Croke Park on contact tracing protocols.

“This decision is taken to ensure the continued safety of all members of the Ballinascarthy community and will be reviewed again early next week. We continue to advise all members to adhere to HSE social distancing, hand hygiene and cough etiquette guidance.”

St Oliver Plunkett’s also confirmed the club had decided to suspend all activity effective immediately and until officers and coaches review the matter.

“We do not take this decision lightly and do so as a preventive and precautionary measure, demonstrating responsibility and care for our community, and setting the best example we can for club members and the wider public.

‘Potential risk’

“As we are a close-knit community with brothers and sisters spread across many teams, parents and more involved across all levels of our games, we are endeavouring to reduce any potential risk by taking this action.”

A hurler with the James Stephens club in Kilkenny was recently diagnosed with Covid-19 and later recovered fully. Team-mates identified via contact tracing returned negative results and club activity resumed following a seven-day precautionary period.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times