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The Government have established a Return to Sport Group which will provide guidance to the sporting bodies to prepare a phased process to sporting activity in line with government roadmap set out earlier last week.
Ministers Ross & Griffin have announced the establishment of an Expert Group for Sport. This group will provide guidance to sporting bodies to prepare for the phased return to sport in line with the Government Roadmap for Reopening Business & Society.
— DTTAS (@DttasIrl) May 16, 2020
The acting Minister for Sport, Shane Ross and Minister for State with responsibility for Sport, Brendan Griffin will be the chairpersons on the group according to RTE Sport. It is thought these will work along with medical experts from Sports Ireland and the sports sector. Additionally, officials from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport will also be involved, along with Sport Ireland.
Shane Ross said of the new group, “Like every sector in society, those involved in Irish sport at all levels have been hugely affected by the Covid-19 crisis. They are understandably most anxious to return to normal business as soon as possible, both those involved at a high performance level and those eager to return to playing and participating in the sports they love within their communities”.
Ross said that sporting organisations are putting protocols in place and the Expert group will look at these protocols to assess the consistency of the arrangements and to make sure they are in line with the roadmap the government had set out. He said, “In my view, it is essential that the public can have confidence in how sport is being restored in Ireland and I believe that this initiative is an important confidence-building measure.”
Sport Ireland CEO John Treacy also said that sport will play a vital part as the country looks to put the coronavirus pandemic behind us. He said, “Sport will play an important role as the country looks to emerge from the current crisis”. He went on to say that the establishment of the Expert Group is a welcome step. Mr Treacy said that he understands there is a clear appetite for sports to return and the Expert Group along with the government and health officials will make this happen in a clear and safe manner.
The list of those on the new Expert group include:
Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport: Peter Hogan (Chair), Betty Griffin, James Lavelle.
Sport Ireland: Paul McDermott, Dr. Una May, Niamh O’ Sullivan, Shane Califf, Dr Jim O’Donovan (Sport Ireland Institute)
Sport Sector: Dr Rod McLoughlin (IRFU), Dr Alan Byrne (FAI), Feargal McGill (GAA), Niamh Daffy (CARA)