“There are more important things than sport but sport hasn’t caused any of this”

Laois Captain hits out at GAA shutdown

Brian Lowry

Reporter:

Brian Lowry

Email:

brian.lowry@leinsterexpress.ie

“There are more important things than sport but sport hasn’t caused any of this”

Enda Rowland in action against Dublin in O'Moore Park Portlaoise.

Laois senior hurling Captain Enda Rowland has come out swinging and wants answers as to why sporting activity has been shut down in Laois.

With all GAA activity closed down in Laois, Offaly and Kildare due to cluster cases of Covid-19 in meat factories within the counties, there has been widespread anger amongst players, officials and supporters.

Speaking to Will O'Callaghan on Midlands 103 on Sunday, Rowland expressed all the emotions of a frustrated figure at why the GAA in particular came to such an abrupt shutdown last Friday night.

“I don’t think it makes sense to anyone as to why sport has fallen back because of it. I know there are more important things in life than sport but for us, sport is a lot of our lives.

“I haven’t heard of any cases or clusters being spread through sport, let alone GAA so why should the GAA suffer from something that has come from a meat factory. It doesn’t make sense.”

Rowland is also club Captain for Abbeyleix St Lazarians and they had a superb win in the opening round of the senior hurling championship just six days before the shut down came into action.

He also questioned the GAA’s role in the debacle and questioned why they haven’t stood up for the three counties in question.

“I have to question the GAA as well for letting it happen and not standing up. The GAA haven’t come out and said anything positive about Laois, Offaly or Kildare.

“Why should GAA players be stopped from training and have their pitches closed again because of a cluster in a meat factory or direct provisions centre?

 “You are doing everything, filling in your covid questionnaire, sanitising everything, togging out in your car for a match and it’s just backfired and I can’t understand it.

“Even for someone that owns a business or a restaurant. If you have done everything right, why should a meat factory be the one to close you down?”

Offaly, Laois and Kildare officials are due to have contact with Croke Park at some stage on Monday on the matter and Rowland is hoping that the GAA ask some serious questions on the Government advice to shut down sporting activity.

“I would hope that they would stand up for the counties that have been shut down in terms of looking for proof of where the cases have come from and if they haven’t come from sporting organisations such as GAA, why should the GAA be stopped.”