Joint Statement ahead of All-Ireland Hurling Final

Limerick City and County Council, The Department of Public Health Mid-West, Limerick GAA, and An Garda Síochána are appealing to members of the public and businesses to support the Limerick senior hurlers safely this weekend, as a high rate of Covid-19 continues to circulate in the community.

Due to the social nature of this high-profile sporting event, the current baseline of cases in Limerick city and county, and the highly-transmissible Delta variant, there is a high risk of infection for people who are unvaccinated or not fully-vaccinated if they engage in social activity that is outside Public Health guidelines this weekend.

We are urging everyone attending household events, hospitality settings, and any indoor gathering to maintain social distancing, wear a face mask, and limit social contact in well-ventilated spaces.

We are also urging the hospitality sector to protect their staff and customers by confirming valid certificates of their patrons, and to avoid crowding both indoors and outdoors. Social settings and close contact within those facilitate infection, and continues to be a factor in community outbreaks in Limerick.

We also ask that people limit their post-match social activity Sunday evening.

According to provisional figures, there were 667 Covid-19 cases recorded over the past 14 days, including 66 cases on August 16, in Limerick.

Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Daniel Butler said: “Having your county in an All-Ireland final is such a great occasion, with the excitement in communities growing as the final approaches. I know that Limerick supporters are some of the best and most passionate in the country, and we are hoping for a good result on Sunday.”

“But we must remember that we are still living with Covid-19 and I’m appealing to everyone to enjoy the match and celebrate the Limerick hurlers in a safe and responsible manner.”

Dr Marie Casey, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, said: “The All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final is one of the most special sporting fixtures, bringing communities together and a welcome boost to the local economy. Unfortunately, if not controlled, this can turn into events which rapidly increase the number of cases in the community, as we had experienced last year. The community in Limerick worked very hard to reduce the rates from the community outbreak in June and we would like to maintain this improvement. We are best protected when we are fully vaccinated and adhering to guidelines, so if you are socialising with friends and family this weekend, do so safely to limit the spread of Covid-19 in your community.”

Chief Superintendent Gerard Roche, of Limerick Garda Division, said: “An Garda Síochána wants this year’s final to be a great occasion for everyone. But Covid-19 is still present within our communities and so we all must continue to be careful. The best way of supporting your County on the day, is by continuing to support public health guidelines. By doing so you will be keeping your fellow supporters and community safe.”

John Cregan, Chairperson of Limerick GAA, said: “Next Sunday’s All-Ireland final appearance for Limerick will be a very special occasion for all Limerick people, and no doubt regardless of the result, emotions will run high, and when emotions run high we sometimes tend to drop our guard. We must remember our obligation to protect ourselves and those around us from serious illness, and to that end can I appeal to all of our supporters to behave in a responsible manner, so to those who are attending and to all those who are making alternative arrangements to view the game, please listen to public health advice, observe all Covid-19 guidelines, and together we can ensure that this historic occasion will be both a safe and enjoyable experience for all involved.”

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