News & Media

Will spectators be allowed at matches as part of Government plan for living with Covid

12 September 2020

Statement by Senator Mark Wall
Spokesperson on Defence, Tourism and Sport

Clarity is needed on whether a limited number of spectators will be allowed attend matches again as part of the Government’s medium-term plan for living with Covid-19 according to Labour Spokesperson on Sport, Senator Mark Wall.

Senator Wall said:

“Much of the conversation around the reopening plan has focused on Dublin and whether wet pubs should open in the capital on September 21st but there needs to be consideration given to once again allowing a limited number of spectators attend sporting events and matches.

“Prior to the additional restrictions introduced on August 18th, up to 200 people were allowed attend outdoor sporting events, which allowed 50 to 120 spectators to attend GAA and soccer matches. The Government need to move to allow 200 people attend sporting events particularly in large stadiums and in parts of the country with a low incidence of Covid-19.

“Sport plays an important part in communities around the country particularly in rural communities and the simple pleasure of being able to attend a club match as a spectator will mean an awful lot especially for elderly people for whom it may be their only social outlet. 

“The return of spectators to local sport must happen sooner than later. The Government’s plan must balance living with the virus and minimising the risk of infection with allowing people some quality of life. 

“Local sports clubs are also struggling financially without the support of spectators. People are ground down and completely wore out from this pandemic and being able to attend a match again would give people a much-needed lift. If we are willing to countenance reopening all pubs in less than two weeks, then it is high time we returned to allowing spectators attend matches again.