It's a landmark day for the GAA as it unveils its 'Return to Playing' roadmap later this evening.

Association officials and executives have spent the past three months preparing to safely emerge from lockdown and today they will publicly unveil their return-to-activity template.

Croke Park’s announcement will take place after the Government lays out its plans for Phase 3 easing of restrictions.

From a Gaelic games perspective, the significance of today's announcement cannot be understated.

In 130 years, the All-Ireland championships have never failed to take place, but the events of this year posed an almighty threat to that proud record.

Though the prospect of completing the 2020 campaigns will be still strictly aligned with containment of the Covid-19 virus - and Government directives - there is now huge hope that club and inter-county championships will take place this season.

If the 'R' rate remains at a satisfactory level, the roadmap will unfold steadily and a revisited inter-county fixture plan will be drawn up as it would most likely incorporate a straight knockout series for both codes, starting in October.

Club competitions could run from late July.

To even reach this point has been significant. Only weeks ago, GAA president John Horan spoke of the challenge of playing any games while social distancing was in place.

Since then, however, the number of positive cases, deaths, and admissions to ICU units have dropped significantly. The 'R' rate remains well below 1, and sporting bodies have progressed quickly in their bid to return to play.

It’s anticipated that when club activity resumes, it will gradually move from non-contact to full contact, and then into competitive action, providing these stages align with Government advice.

By the time inter-county action resumes, much more will be known about the protocols, nuances, and concessions that will be necessary to operate amid the pandemic.

In the past month, the GAA’s Covid-19 Advisory Group has assessed all variables and risk factors associated with resuming activity and the comprehensive roadmap they presented to the Management Committee last night reflects the community, family and amateur ethos of the Association.

The roadmap will centre on gradual and steady progression.

Other sports have already proposed breaking training sessions into groups and clusters and the GAA will be no different.

Leading coaches have already been asked to come up with specific training drills and exercises that maintain social distancing.

As the phases roll out, parents and guardians will have to consent to their children returning to activity, and there will be frequent washing and sterilising of equipment.

Clubs' Covid Supervisors will be among the busiest people in the Association, monitoring and administrating data for the foreseeable future.

For now, though, there is a green light ready to flash for a return to club training activity at the end of June and it will be a welcome sight for GAA people everywhere. 

Listen to the RTÉ GAA Podcast at Apple Podcasts, SoundcloudSpotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.