Galway football fans got some good news this week with the announcement that the announcement of a phased return of fans at outdoor sports.
The Connacht Football Championship semi-final between Galway and Cork on July 4 at Dr Hyde Park is one of a series of pilot sporting events to test the safe return of fans.
In total 15 sporting events across Gaelic games, rugby, football, golf and athletics have been targeted for the period from June 11 to July 10.
These pilot events will allow for sports organisations to test necessary control and other measures in stadia across a range of areas.
The events will help to evaluate and review progress to advance additional events and capacity from early July and August including GAA, Camogie and LGFA championship matches, League of Ireland games, Women’s National League games, and more.
Minister for Sport Catherine Martin said “Sport, like culture, plays a huge part in Irish life. I know that across the country people are eager to get back to watching the sports they love.”
“The lessons from these pilots will help inform a wider return for more events later in the summer. I also know how much our teams have missed supporters and this is a start to bringing atmosphere back to sports events.”
“The intention is that the pilots will pave the way for even more matches, games and other sporting events to be attended by spectators further into July and August with capacity increasing all the time throughout the summer.”
The government’s announcement does not make it clear how many spectators will be allowed at these special pilot events.
In general, from June 7 the number of people allowed to attend organised outdoor events will increase to a maximum of 100 for the majority of venues, and 200 people at stadia/venues where there is a minimum capacity of 5,000.
These limits are set to be raised again to 200 and 500 people respectively on July 5, subject to public health circumstances.
The full list of pilot events taking place over June and July is:
|11 Jun, Fri eve||RDS||Leinster v Dragons|
|11 Jun, Fri eve||Tallaght Stadium||LoI Shamrock Rovers v Finn Harps|
|11 Jun, Fri eve||Turner’s cross||LoI Cork City v Cabinteely|
|20 Jun, Sun||Croke Park||Camogie National League Finals|
|18-20Jun, TBC||Possible pilot of a GAA Men’s National Football League Final if scheduled|
|25 Jun, Fri eve||Tallaght Stadium||LoI Shamrock Rovers v Drogheda|
|26 Jun, Sat||Morton Stadium, Santry||Athletics Ireland National Championships|
|26 Jun, Sat||Croke Park||Division 1 and 2 LGFA League Finals|
|26 Jun, Sat||Tolka Park||WNL Shelbourne vs Cork|
|01 Jul, Thu-Sun||Mount Juliet, Kilkenny||Irish Open Golf (European Tour) (dispersed throughout course but not seated)|
|02 Jul, Fri eve||Tallaght Stadium||LoI Shamrock Rovers v Dundalk|
|03 Jul, Sat||Aviva Stadium||Ireland v Japan|
|03 Jul, Sat||Semple Stadium – Thurles||Munster GAA Hurling Semi Final Cork v Limerick|
|04 Jul, Sun||Dr. Hyde Park||Connacht GAA Football Championships – Roscommon v Galway|
|10 Jul, Sat||Aviva Stadium||Ireland v USA|