Since a Government decision announced on 18 August, all sporting events have been taking place behind closed doors until at least 13 September in a bid to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

But with no spectators in stadiums or sporting venues, the increased possibility of people congregating in pubs or private residences to watch streams and broadcasts of fixtures has led to growing concern.

Speaking on Today with Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio 1, former Mayo footballer David Brady used his own county as an example, suggesting that the knock-on effect of no spectators at the match venues will see some of those numbers congregate in establishments streaming or broadcasting the games.

"How do we mitigate [the spread of the virus]? Two things. The travelling or lifts to the games, you go on your own or you go with your family," he said.

"And there should be no socialising in any way shape or form after a football game.

"But let me tell you, my club St Ballina Stephenites is playing in a county semi-final and we haven't won a county final in 13 years.

"We're playing our arch rivals Knockmore this weekend and unfortunately there will be seven or ten pubs that people will congregate in at five to three and watch the game until ten past four.

"That's definitely not the environment to be watching a sporting activity. We can't facilitate the 600 or 700 people that will be in the pubs of Ballina probably on Sunday.

David Brady

"My point is we're on an island. There are 400 times more people allowed to go to a game in Armagh than in Monaghan."

Kingston Mills, a Professor of Experimental Immunology at Trinity College Dublin, also spoke to Today with Claire Byrne and suggested that restrictions on spectators could risk having the opposite effect than originally intended.

"I completely agree with David Brady on this... is it safer for 50 or 100 spectators to go down to the two pubs in the local parish and watch the streaming of events or is it safer to be in the stadium?" he said.

"It's absolutely emphatically safer to be in the stadium and if that's properly controlled and regulated by the clubs - and the clubs have a big part to play in this in terms of implementing the safety procedures - that is a much safer activity than watching it in your home with a group of friends.

"I know there are supposed to be restrictions of six in homes but in pubs it's not. In fact, the restrictions are making it more conducive for the spread of the virus than the other way around as they stand in my view."

Professor Mills added that "it's easier to put in place regulations than you might think".

"Certainly, if you move the spectators away from the pubs to the actual stadium, then you're reducing risks," he said.

"If you regulate their movement in and out of the stadium, if you place them in positions especially in larger stadia where they are well apart and you have measures where you ask people not to come in large groups [and] not to go to the pub ."