All Ireland Football Champions Dublin could face the wrath of Croke Park, after several players were filmed participating in a secret dawn training session. This is a breach of Covid-19 level 5 restrictions along with the GAA’s own rules.
The Irish Independent reported that at least 9 members of the Dublin Inter-County Panel trained together in Innisfails GAA Club in North Dublin at 7am Wednesday morning. It also involved a series of group training drills in the presence of a coach.
Innisfails had been used as a base for pre-season training for Dublin in pre-pandemic times.
The Dublin players included several household names from the 6 in a row Sam Maguire winners. They convened before 7am in what appeared to be a non-contact training session at the North Dublin club.
Among these names included Brian Howard, Johnny Cooper and Brian Fenton.
The Dublin players took part in a series of fitness exercises and football drills. It also appeared that a man was keeping close watch at the ground’s entrance.
“In serious jeopardy”
Dublin’s breach comes barely 12 hours after Croke Park issued a statement. The statement warned all clubs and counties that any breaches of the current ban on collective training would put the overall plans of the GAA in “serious jeopardy”.
The current return to play for the GAA is pencilled in for 19 April. Allianz leagues for both hurling and football could also return in May.
This also comes after Cork and Down were punished for breaching collective training rules earlier this year. This resulted in Cork manager Ronan McCarthy being hit with a 12 week ban, as Cork held a training session.
While Down manager Paddy Tally was handed an 8 week ban as his side held a team meeting.
There have also been unconfirmed rumours of other county teams breaching the collective training ban.
Dublin chairman: “It’s the first I’ve heard of it”
Dublin players and their manager Dessie Farrell have yet to comment on the situation, while their chairman Micheal Seavers said, “It’s the first I know of it” when asked about it.