Gardaí investigate alleged training breach by Monaghan GAA

Department of Justice received ‘anonymous letter’ with information on gathering

Under current Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions intercounty GAA training is banned. Teams can resume training from April 19th. Photograph: iStock

Gardaí are making enquiries following the emergence of footage which allegedly shows Monaghan GAA senior players breaching Covid-19 restrictions during a training session.

The Department of Justice forwarded the information on the reported training session to An Garda Síochána, the GAA and the Department of Health after it received an "anonymous letter with information regarding this matter", a justice spokesman said.

It is understood the footage shows the Monaghan senior football team taking part in a training session at Corduff GAA club on the last weekend in March, according to a report in the Irish Independent.

An Garda confirmed it was making enquiries into alleged breaches of Covid-19 regulations “at a sports grounds in the north of the country”.

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“If gardaí identify potential breaches of the public health regulations (travel restrictions) a fixed payment notice of notices may be issued where appropriate”, said a Garda spokeswoman.

She noted that the Health Act 1947 (section 31A-temporary restrictions) (Covid-19) Regulations 2020 was “currently in force” and that regulation 11 places a restriction on training events. “Regulation 11 is not declared to be a penal regulation,” she added.

Under current Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions intercounty GAA training is banned. Teams can resume training from April 19th.

A GAA spokesman said it had not yet received any correspondence from the Department of Justice but that “as with any similar cases since the start of the pandemic, we will be investigating the allegations at the earliest opportunity”.

Last week, the GAA announced the suspension of senior Dublin football manager Dessie Farrell for 12 weeks following an investigation into photographs showing Dublin players training at the Innisfails club in north Dublin.

The intercounty season is due to get underway on Monday, April 19th with the return of intercounty training with fixtures to follow in mid-May. All-Ireland finals are likely to be in late August, giving a season of about 16 weeks.

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak is an Irish Times reporter and cohost of the In the News podcast