Due to the effect of the coronavirus pandemic, all GAA fixtures in Ireland are currently on hold.

Similarly, the activities of clubs abroad are also at a standstill, particularly in the countries hardest hit by the spread of Covid-19 like Italy, Spain and the United States.

Joanne Cantwell caught up with members of clubs in Madrid, Rome and New York on Sunday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1 to find out how they have been affected by the impact of the pandemic.


Madrid Harps GAA Club were European champions last year and had grown exponentially in recent years.

"We've had our eyes on the European Championship for a few years," said Paddy Sherry.

"We were lucky to finally win it last October in Vienna which was a great moment for the club. We've come a long way since it was formed 12 years ago.

"We have 100 members in total so by European standards it's quite large and we travel all over Spain for games.

"There are plenty of social and sporting events every week but unfortunately that's all stopped now since the lockdown came into place a month ago."

But he added that the team Whatsapp group is "busier than ever", while Facebook calls have been used to check in on members and a quiz has even been organised on Zoom.

But a key part of the information sharing has been on advice about home training and day to day tips in keeping safe.

"We also have a few Spanish people in the team who are helping to translate the government advice," Sherry added.


"We've tried very hard to keep everyone connected," Chanita Watson from SS Lazio Calcio Gaelico GAA said in regards to keeping lines of communication open between the club's members.

"Unfortunately, we had quite a few tournaments coming up in the next few months which have all had to be cancelled.

"We're quite a new club as such. It's been five years and we were all hoping to take a full team of men's and ladies this year and that's all been stopped.

"So we're basically trying to keep up the awareness for everyone. We've been doing lots of fitness online and inviting friends and families just so they can see each other."

New York

The closure of non-essential services in the New York area has had a telling impact on GAA members based in the state and city.

"A lot of members from our club are involved in the construction industry and the restaurant industry," Joe McGirl from Rockland GAA Club explained of the US lockdown impact.

"So the restaurants have been shut down for some time. A lot of our members are greatly affected because they're off from work right now and it is just the essential businesses such as hospitals, medical industry that are still working and transit, police and obviously fire department and of course all of the first respondents, they are still out in the front line."

McGirl added that the club facilities are currently closed down but that members have volunteered to help with local community initiatives like gathering essentials.