All sporting events in Ireland have been suspended until at least 19 April following an announcement from the Irish Government.

Racing had continued to stage meetings behind closed doors since 13 March, as countries around the world try to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

However, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced on Tuesday that all sporting events, even those without spectators, would be cancelled.

Also among the measures announced by Mr Varadkar, which are effective from midnight on Tuesday, was the closure of all betting shops.

Speaking at a Government briefing in Dublin, he said: "We believe we need to do more to flatten the curve. People should stay at home if at all possible - this is the best way to slow the virus."

Varadkar indicated the suspension is due to be in place until 19 April, which means the Irish Grand National meeting will not take place over the Easter weekend as scheduled.Racing had been due to take place at Dundalk on Wednesday.

The Irish Grand National will no longer take place over Easter weekend

County Tipperary trainer David Marnane said: "We're all in this together and we'll just have to do the best we can.

"It's a devastating blow to us, but it is to everybody in the country. We're not the only ones.

"We'll have to knuckle down and get through this. We will get through this and come out the other side, however long it takes."

The Football Association of Ireland said it remains committed to a June return for the SSE Airtricity League, which was suspended earlier this month after five rounds of fixtures.

An FAI statement read: "Regular meetings are ongoing with representatives from the National League Executive Committee and the Professional Footballer's Association of Ireland to help our clubs and players through this difficult time."

The Golfing Union of Ireland and Irish Ladies Golf Union have recommended all golf clubs, practice facilities and courses across the island close with immediate effect.

They said: "While golf is an outdoor sport that allows players to exercise in the fresh air, the message is clear. People must stay at home to help to contain the spread of COVID-19."

The Irish Rugby Football Union announced an immediate end to its domestic season last week and have made €500,000 available to clubs, while the Pro14 final, which was due to take place in Cardiff in June, has also been postponed.

The Ladies Gaelic Football association announced on Tuesday that the Lidl National Leagues will not be completed in 2020.