The Minister for Sport has asked sporting organisations to examine international best practice in the context of reviewing restrictions for events. 

Catherine Martin met major sports bodies yesterday along with Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, the Acting Chief Medical Officer Ronan Glynn and Junior Minister Jack Chambers.

She said afterwards: "I want sports to reopen to spectators once again. Let's see how that can be done and feed into the roadmap for resilience and recovery."

The Minister said that she wanted the sports bodies to "come back with considerations that can be brought to health officials as part of preparation for the upcoming whole-of-government roadmap on resilience, due to be released later this month".

Participating in the video conference were the Chief Executive of Sport Ireland, John Treacy; the Interim Chief Executive of the Football Association of Ireland, Gary Owens; the Ard Stiúrthóir of the Gaelic Athletic Association, Tom Ryan; and the Chief Executive of the Irish Rugby Football Union, Philip Browne.

An Expert Group on Return to Sport, made up of sports bodies and officials, has held 15 meetings and has considered over 50 protocols from a wide range of sports, all of which have now resumed activity. 

The Expert Group has also developed guidance for the sport sector, such as the guidelines for travel by high performance and professional athletes which facilitated the travel to Bulgaria by the men's senior international soccer team for their UEFA Nations League fixture last evening.

The Department of Sport said sporting representatives briefed the Ministers on progress in the sport sector and the challenges they are facing as a consequence of the current restrictions. 

The Ministers noted the concerns raised and confirmed that these would be considered when the Government next meets to review the public health regulations.