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Blues breach Dublin GAA stars break lockdown for a secret training session

The session took place barely 12 hours after Croke Park issued a circular to all clubs and counties warning against any breaches of the current ban on collective training.

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The Dublin training session took place at an Innisfails GAA club pitch off the Malahide Road

The Dublin training session took place at an Innisfails GAA club pitch off the Malahide Road

The Dublin training session took place at an Innisfails GAA club pitch off the Malahide Road

MEMBERS of the Dublin senior football squad broke Covid-19 rules to take part in a secret dawn training session yesterday.

The gathering at a GAA pitch in north Dublin was attended by at least nine players and involved a series of group training drills.

The players, including several household names from the six-in-a-row All-Ireland champions, were photographed after convening shortly before 7am for what appeared to be a non-contact session at Innisfails GAA club.

Among those pictured taking part in the 'dawn run' were reigning Footballer of the Year Brian Fenton and two-time All Stars Jonny Cooper and Brian Howard.

The session took place barely 12 hours after Croke Park issued a circular to all clubs and counties, warning that any breaches of the current ban on collective training could put the GAA's overall plans for a return "in serious jeopardy".

This followed the Government's announcement earlier on Tuesday that senior inter-county panels will now be allowed to resume training from April 19, with a view to commencing the Allianz Football and Hurling leagues in May.

Whereas there have been unconfirmed rumours of other county squads breaking the current training ban in recent weeks, this is the first evidence of such an event taking place - and it implicates the biggest team in Gaelic games.

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 Dublin GAA players at secret training session

Dublin GAA players at secret training session

Dublin GAA players at secret training session

In pre-pandemic times, Innisfails was regularly used by the Dublin footballers as their base for early-season training.

The venue is located down a small cul-de-sac off the Malahide Road, close to Balgriffin Cemetery.

Players were seen arriving before first light for the session, which was overseen by a coach.

They took part in a series of fitness drills and practised ball skills while a man appeared to keep watch close to the entrance to the facility.

At time of going to press neither Dublin manager Dessie Farrell nor the Dublin team's media spokesperson responded to a request for comment.

Dublin chairman Michael Seavers replied that "it's the first I know of it" when contacted yesterday afternoon, and he could not be reached when the Herald followed up with a further call last night.

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