By Denis J. Croke
LAOIS GAA’s return to competitive football at the weekend has been thrown into disarray. The first competitive game since the Coronavirus shut down back in March was due to be played this Saturday evening.
The Kelly Cup semi-final would have pitted Ballylinan against Killeshin but the latter have ceased all activities for ten days, until Monday 27 July, as one of their teams had been in contact with a confirmed Coronavirus case.
On Monday evening last Killeshin’s junior team played Carlow’s Old Leighlin in a practice game. Subsequently one of the Old Leighlin players tested positive for Covid-19.
Twenty four hours earlier Arles-Kilcruise also played Old Leighlin’s senior team in a practice game in which the same player was also involved, although didn’t start the game.
Some of the Killeshin players are deemed as close contacts and had to be tested for the virus.
Following a meeting of their socially-distanced committee yesterday (Thursday) evening Killeshin decided to pause all activities for ten days.
In a statement they said: “Killeshin GAA would like to let our members know as a precautionary measure we have decided to press pause on all club activities until Monday July 27th.
“This is a precautionary measure, as one of our teams has been in contact with a person who subsequently tested positive for COVID-19
“We in Killeshin GAA feel it sensible and prudent to temporarily close our grounds and suspend both underage and adult group activities.
“We understand that anyone identified by Public Health authorities as a close contact will be tested for COVID-19
“We will keep you posted on resumption of activities, and we remind you to respect the privacy of all involved. Thank you.”
All this comes just two weeks before the Laois hurling championships get underway with the football championships following a week later. Killeshin are due to take on Emo in their first round game on Sunday 9 August. Arles Kilcruise are out the same day taking on The Heath.