The GAA were informed on Christmas Eve last year that senior inter-county games could continue as an exempted sport activity during Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions.

Following a Freedom of Information request, The Irish Examiner are reporting that the GAA's Director General, Tom Ryan, was told by the Department of Sport on 24 December that senior inter-county games were permitted to continue.

However, on Wednesday, 10 February, Government representatives clarified that inter-county Gaelic Games activity was not covered under the current Level 5 exemptions for elite sports. The FOI request also reveals that the then GAA president, John Horan, was informed by Minister Jack Chambers two days earlier, that inter-county action had been removed from the list of exemptions. 

Earlier this week, the GAA contacted counties to offer an update on the latest developments around the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, reiterating there is no decision on which competitions will take place in 2021. 

The association also clarified that the expected 12 April return to training in Northern Ireland did not apply to inter-county panels, who remain barred from collective sessions.

The official letter from director general Tom Ryan and new GAA president Larry McCarthy began by thanking members for their ongoing patience in relation to the continued enforced delay in the resumption of GAA activities.