There have been increasing calls this week for GAA members in the "six counties" to be allowed return to activity earlier than their southern colleagues, but it seems certain the Ulster Council will maintain the alignment of both jurisdictions for now – certainly where competitive action is concerned.  

All through the pandemic the GAA have insisted that they will act as 'one' and that no jurisdiction will be left behind.

That remains the status quo for now.

However, if a case arose where children in the north were allowed to return to some sort of activity, without a competitive focus, the situation could be examined more closely.

Ulster GAA officials have an executive meeting scheduled for next Tuesday when it’s expected that the matter, among many other items on the agenda, will be discussed.

On Wednesday, Armagh legend Oisin McConville called for the GAA in the "six counties" to be allowed to return to activity if it was allowed by the Northern Ireland Executive.

McConville told BBC Sport NI that if the green light was given by the Executive, activity should resume – even if sport was still locked down in the South.

The Crossmaglen man suggested that the re-opening of GAA activity in the North could be confined to the club scene – meaning that inter-county teams in Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan would not be disadvantaged in terms of their other northern rivals.

McConville’s comments came in the wake of the NI Executive roadmap earlier this week, which revealed a five-step plan for easing the Covid-19 lockdown in the area.

The blueprint did not include dates or a timetable and easing of restrictions will depend on public health conditions.

McConville also referenced the north’s effective vaccine roll-out, citing the success of the programme.

Recently, Ulster GAA CEO Brian McAvoy ruled out any separation between the two jurisdictions and speaking to RTÉ Sport, Ulster PRO Declan Woods reiterated how having the two regions on the same sheet was important.

"It’s very important that both sides are together on this," said Woods.

"Everything is currently being driven by data and not dates. And while that remains the case, we are not even looking at potential return-to-play dates.

"We would look to very much keep a close alignment between the two jurisdictions. We are a 32-county body and while this pandemic plays out, we intend to keep it like that – certainly in terms of returning to play competitively."

Woods says, however, that if a situation arose where children could be allowed resume sport or training of any kind – and the competitive element was there – they would consider the situation then.

"If a situation arose where we could let kids back to play some form of sport, well it would be crazy to say they couldn’t go back," he said.

"From a fixtures perspective it looks like we may have county back first and that we will not see competitions at club level before inter-county is back.

"Even at that the difference between the two coming back could only be very slight

"So we will keep on top of this. But the experts say it will be all data driven rather than dates.

"We will have a management meeting on Tuesday next and it will be discussed then."