April 23rd, 2020

A Chara,

I hope that you and your extended families all well during these challenging times. On behalf of the County Chairman, Mick Gorman and his Management Team, I wish to provide you with the following update:

Covid-19 Support

Clubs have jumped on-board the community support platform over the last 5 weeks and are currently heavily involved in three initiatives ongoing within the county. A number of weeks ago, Kildare GAA was approached by the Chief Regional Officer for the HSE enquiring about community support for their facilities in anticipation of an unprecedented surge in the coming weeks. A live online platform was created for the HSE by one of our volunteers from TMH GAA Club and there are over 415 GAA Club volunteers registered reflecting a cross section of skills sets – Health Care workers, Trades, Security, Logistics, Teachers and SNA’s, IT Support and others. Volunteers are presently undergoing vetting and training in anticipation of supporting HSE facilities in Athy, Maynooth and Naas General Hospital, however some volunteers have already been activated by the HSE during the last few weeks to support ‘Meals on Wheels’ and other logistic tasks. As the situation within the county evolves, it is anticipated that the HSE will activate more volunteers from this list. In addition to volunteers, 14 GAA Clubs offered use of their facilities as alternative testing sites if required. HSE representatives have already visited Manguard Plus, Hawkfield to determine its suitability as an alternative testing site, if required.

In addition to the HSE / Kildare GAA initiative, numerous Clubs are also actively engaged with Kildare County Council’s (KCC) Local Authority Community Support Response ​aimed at supporting vulnerable members of our communities by collecting / delivering essential house hold items (groceries, fuel & medication) and also supporting local meals on wheels. To date, Kildare GAA Clubs have responded to over 20 requests from the KCC call centre and are well positioned within their communities for greater support as demand increases. All requests are coordinated through a KCC Call Centre.

The third volunteer project is named nationally as ‘Club Call’ and is now closely aligned with the KCC Local Authority support whereby GAA Clubs make contact with their local supermarkets / groceries and offer to deliver to the most vulnerable within their own communities. This is being driven by the Musgrave chain, however all grocery shops are open to requesting support. Most GAA Clubs have already established communication with their local shops and support is being provided as requested.

It is important to acknowledge the support from members within your clubs who have offered their services to the lead agencies, through Kildare GAA. Your offers of support have all been passed to HSE / KCC and I am in no doubt that they will be requested as the situation further evolves.

Fixtures

Croke Park have acknowledged that should any relaxed measures be announced it is increasing likely that it will allow club fixtures to be played before the Inter County schedule will commence. A lead-in time (length unknown) will also be provided once any relaxed measures are announced by An Taoiseach.

Kildare CCC are currently developing contingency plans based on a number of possibilities and we, like all other counties are awaiting direction from Croke Park & HSE.

Public, Property & Employer’s Liability Insurance

Croke Park have advised that the Insurance Underwriters do not envisage any premium reductions in 2020 as a result of Club Premises being closed for the last 5 weeks.

Special Congress 

A Special Congress took place last Friday and granted the GAA’s 15-person Management Committee delegation and control to apply for GAA Rules deviations for the next 12-week period. The Committee are actively exploring all options relating to items such as competition structures, membership deadlines etc. We hope to have a clearer picture in the coming weeks.

Club Kildare Golf Classic

Club Kildare have provisionally rescheduled the Golf Classic to Friday 28th August in the fabulous Kilkea Castle setting. Further details of the event will be communicated in due course.

Once again, many thanks for your continued support and I will keep you updated with any future developments.

Le meas

Daithí Ó Cathail / Dave Cahill

Rúnaí Chill Dara / Kildare GAA Secretary

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