GAELIC football competitions in Scotland are to be brought to a premature end following a vote by the Scotland County Board.
The decision—taken with the input of the Youth Committee—sees competitive action at all age grades brought to an end for 2020 in reaction to the new tiered restrictions which will be brought in across the country.
The sad announcement comes after the great efforts made at County Board level and in clubs to ensure that Gaelic sporting life could continue amid the uncertain and challenging time of Covid-19.
However, despite those efforts the decision was announced to clubs that championship action will be cancelled and focus brought on ensuring the county board and clubs are ready to return to competition in 2021.
Announcing the decision, County Secretary Jenn Treacy, of Glasgow Gaels, spoke of the positives that have come from a testing year for the GAA in Scotland and the lessons learned from the experience.
“It is with a very heavy heart that we share the outcome of both tonight’s Youth Committee and Scotland County Board decision,” she said. “With impending tiered restrictions beginning November 2, a majority of the board voted that the 2020 season will now come to an end. There will be no more fixtures at any age grade in Scotland.
“There are a great deal of positives that have come out of this year. Clubs have shown their resilience and their importance within their communities and particularly as a place to call home for many away from home. We are so proud of the clubs this year and how they have conducted themselves at every turn. It has definitely been a tough year but we know that we will come back stronger. We want to thank all of the volunteers for the immense amount of work that has gone on behind the scenes. I personally want to thank all of the County Board officers and representatives, referees, as well as all of the Club and Team COVID Supervisors for their diligence and support over these past 8 months. Ní neart go cur le chéile.”
Despite the frustration felt by players and officials in the GAA in Scotland, the importance of responsibility for player safety and keeping the association within the rules which are safeguarding communities across Scotland remains a priority for all involved in the GAA. Following the announcement clubs and players will reflect on a strange year in which just taking to the pitch was a victory in itself and look ahead to the future of Gaelic games in Scotland.
“Every game and every training session we have all taken part in has truly been a privilege, and I know for myself I have learned not to take sport for granted,” she concluded. “As clubs and a county we will continue the social aspect of our club activities within the guidelines and we hope for a safe return to Gaelic Games competition in 2021.”