Sinn Féin spokesperson on Sport Chris Andrews TD has called for common sense to be applied to allow the families of players and coaches participating in the upcoming FAI Cup and All-Ireland finals to attend the games.
Speaking today, the Dublin Bay South TD said:
“In the context of easing of restrictions and the reopening of retail and hospitality services, it would be a cold move to deny the immediate families of players and coaches the opportunity to attend what for many will be the pinnacle of their sporting careers.
“The enormous sense of personal and collective achievement brought about by teams reaching sporting finals such as this Sunday’s FAI Cup showpiece between Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk, and the upcoming All-Ireland hurling and football finals, should not be underestimated.
“I can only imagine the sense of great emotional pride in watching a family member run out from the dressing room to represent their family, their community, and their county or club on such an occasion.
“I cannot imagine how disappointing it must be as a parent to be told that, while restrictions in many other sectors are being eased, that I could not stand in a massive and otherwise near-empty stadium to watch my child play in one of the biggest moments of their lives.
“That is what we are talking about here – families being spread out in huge, world-class outdoor arenas.
“The Aviva Stadium and Croke Park boast capacities of 52,000 and 82,000 respectively, so it is quite clear that some leniency could be applied in these instances to allow families to attend in a perfectly safe way that adheres to social-distancing and all other necessary Covid-19 precautions.
“Common sense is missing from the approach to these finals and that is why I am calling on the minister to permit the FAI and GAA to allow the immediate families of players and coaches attend the FAI Cup and All-Ireland finals.”