GAA president John Horan has welcomed the return of paying spectators to Gaelic games and has confirmed that financial aid has been "guaranteed" to the organisation by the Government as it prepares to press ahead with the inter-county championships. 

The Government today unveiled its medium-term plan for Living with Covid-19, and up to 200 supporters will now permitted to attend matches at venues with a capacity which exceeds 5,000.

The 200 spectators limit excludes players, management, staff, officials and media.

"I think we have to be positive about it," Horan told RTÉ Sport. 

"It's not exactly what we wanted, but it is a move in that direction.

"The package has been guaranteed to us and we will be moving on with the championship"

"We did submit a plan to the Government in July, outlining what we felt was a pathway to actually resolve the attendance at matches and it follows some of that pattern for us.

"I think our membership need to embrace it as it is, I think they need to be responsible too – we are still in a pandemic and the numbers are worsening, so we need to be careful. 

"But I honestly believe if we comply and deliver on this, come October we hopefully may see an increase in numbers."

Horan remains optimistic that certain grounds will be able to cater for larger audiences in the months ahead. 

"Part of the proposal in the document is that individual plans for major stadia over 5000 can be drawn up and presented to the Department of Sport and Sport Ireland for approval, so that those grounds will be able to have an increased capacity.

"And hopefully we will have all of that in place come the National League, and definitely the championships so we can have bigger crowds.

"There's factors, it's complex. There's egress, there's access, there's the actual capacity within the stadium as well.

"And I'm quite sure there will be an overall ceiling in the number of people that the authorities want to gather at any one particular venue."

Horan was unable to confirm when or how much Government aid would be provided to the GAA, but was definitive on its ultimate delivery.   

"I had actually hoped that that would have come to a conclusion today, but there is work going on in the background between our officials and Government officials to actually finalise the size of the package," Horan revealed. 

"But the package has been guaranteed to us and we will be moving on with the championship."