Jennifer O’Connell: GAA exceptionalism wins in a pandemic

Sport is great but why must GAA get special pass from Covid-19 restrictions?

There are bizarre inferences that the breaches of guidelines surrounding GAA games are somehow less risky or more forgivable than others. Photograph: INPHO/Donall Farmer

There are bizarre inferences that the breaches of guidelines surrounding GAA games are somehow less risky or more forgivable than others. Photograph: INPHO/Donall Farmer

There is an increasingly marginalised cohort in Irish society whose needs have been largely overlooked during this lockdown. People who don’t like GAA.

This demographic includes the silent minority who prefer other leisure pursuits. Those who might have enjoyed a round of golf or a game of tennis over the last couple of months, for example. Those who would have loved to go to a play, and were perfectly prepared to wear a mask and sit two metres in any direction from the no more than 50 other people in the theatre. Those who wanted nothing more than to attend Mass in an almost empty church. Or those who just wanted to see their grandchildren.

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