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Carey urges loosening of Covid-19 crowd restrictions

WHEN the Clare footballers take to the pitch at Fitzgerald Stadium on Saturday, there will be just 200 people in the stands. The hurlers will face Waterford at Semple Stadium the following day and again there will again be a mere 200 spectators there.
Of course this is due to Covid-19, but with progress having been made in recent months, Clare TD Joe Carey has written to Minister for Sport Catherine Martin, asking that consideration be given to allowing fully vaccinated people to attend championship games.
In his letter to Ms Martin, he said, “I am writing to request that your office considers significantly increasing the numbers of people allowed to attend inter-county GAA, camogie and ladies football fixtures across the country.
“As you know, the GAA championship season is due to get underway this weekend.
“My own county, Clare, play Waterford in Thurles on Sunday. The stadium capacity is 45,690 but under current guidelines, a maximum of 200 supporters will be allowed to attend.
“This is 0.4 % of the ground’s capacity. While I fully understand and support the need for us all to support guidelines and to ensure that additional variants do not reverse the progress made in this country, I feel that it would make sense to allow fully vaccinated people to attend these fixtures,” Deputy Carey added.
“As of Monday, June 21, more than 20% of the Irish population was fully vaccinated. Many of the people who are fully vaccinated are relatively elderly and have been either cocooning or cooped up for more than 12 months.
“It would be a huge boost if restrictions were eased with regard to attending sports fixtures,” Deputy Carey concluded.

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.