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GAA match celebrations 'partly to blame' for Cavan Covid-19 spike says Stephen Donnelly

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said that after-match GAA celebrations 'partly to blame' for Cavan spike

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said that after-match GAA celebrations 'partly to blame' for Cavan spike

By Ciara O'Loughlin

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has said that GAA post-match celebrations are “partly” to blame for the significant number of Covid-19 cases in Co Cavan.

He added that testing and tracing teams have evidence that post-match celebrations helped spread the virus.

As of yesterday, the 14-day incidence rate in Cavan was 1,013 per 100,000 population. This compares to the national average of 291. Meath has the second highest incidence rate of 652 with no other counties in the country being above 400.

Speaking on RTE Radio One’s Morning Ireland, Minister Donnelly said: “There are various things going wrong in various different counties.

“With the border counties there is travel back and fourth across the border and that might be in some cases that the virus is moving in both directions.”

When asked if the GAA was linked to Cavan’s significantly higher incidence rate then other counties, the Health Minister said: “Partly where it is and partly because, unfortunately, I don’t want to pick out any individual sporting organisation, but we do have evidence from the testing teams that post match celebrations that shouldn’t have happened in some cases did help spread the virus.”

However, he added that what is most important now is realising that the virus is spreading in many different ways.

“What the Chief Medical Officer and Nphet would say is really what’s important is the virus is at a point now where it’s spreading in an awful lot of different ways,” he said.

“It is spreading in workplaces, it is spreading after sporting events and it is spreading a lot of the time with alcohol when people congregate and get together.

“And, it’s spreading between households and in households, and it's a combination of all of those reasons which requires us moving to level 5.”

Yesterday, 1,167 new cases were confirmed in the Republic of Ireland with three further deaths.

There has now been a total of 1,868 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland and 53,422 cases.

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