Limerick hurling manager John Kiely believes there will be All-Ireland hurling and football championships this year, despite the latest uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

The inter-county games have been delayed until the end of October, by which time the GAA were hoping that pandemic restrictions around fans attending games would have eased.

However, yesterday's Government announcement that all sports must go behind closed doors, from an already low level of 200 people in attendance, suggests things are moving in the wrong direction. 

Asked whether he still sees a hurling championship happening this year, Kiely said it was necessary to lift the spirits of the nation.

"I'm quite confident that there will be," the school principal told RTÉ Sport. "We need it. Irish society needs a football and a hurling championship this year.

"It's been five months since the virus has come into our lives and taken over every conversation that we've had.

"We need to get as far as Christmas even and be a distraction for all of ourselves, not (just those) that are directly involved but also for all the many supporters that will want to watch it, either on television or in person.

"For our older population as well, who have spent hours and hours every week watching matches on the television, it gets them through their day or week and they look forward to it, and it's part of their conversation piece every week.

"We need to change the conversation from Covid to sport and to other things in our lives."

Kiely said that if the options were playing behind closed doors or not going ahead, games without fans would have to be considered.

"A lot of people at the outset would have said no but unfortunately we now realise that this virus puts us in the position where that might be the only possibility.

"Where it is the only possibility, we have to consider it."