Joe Brolly: "I fully support the GAA's decision to pause"
Joe Brolly says it is time for GAA people to get their feet back on the ground.
The Derry man has welcomed the suspension of all Gaelic Games activity in Ireland after the GAA's statement called a halt to everything.
A number of supporters and players - and mostly the GAA administrators - have been criticised over the last month as footage from county finals and club celebrations see mass gatherings in close proximity, wild celebrations in closer proximity and a real concern that the public health advice was being disregarded.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1's Drivetime on Monday afternoon, Brolly said he could understand why those scenes unfolded, but it is the right time to stop.
"The GAA is embedded in the community," he said.
"It was inevitable there were going to be huge celebrations with county finals, particularly once the restrictions were eased.
"It's very important to pause the exuberance now. We need to get our feet back on the ground because we're in this for the long haul."
With reports that the government will move the country to Level 3 - and not Level 5 as previously speculated - there is still a green light as such for the inter-county championship to go ahead.
Brolly doesn't see that as being as big a problem as the club game though, because there isn't the same fervent attachment.
"If you're involved in club games, the outpouring of emotion in Blackrock yesterday... the GAA is so central to who we are. You won't have that same level for the county game.
"I fully support the GAA's decision to pause now.
"Legally, we're still entitled to open - we can have 500 spectators in the north, in the south we can have 200.
"The fact that the GAA has got out ahead of the game is welcome because we have to act as a community."
As it stands, there are still club football finals to take place in Donegal, Waterford and Cork, with Laois' championship now put on hold until after their exit from the inter-county competition. In hurling, Kildare, Laois and Offaly all had outstanding finals planned for this coming weekend.
"Some of my best friends are Prods..."
Met @JoeBrolly1993 and spoke about how a sectarian divide has yet again put the north in very real danger - at a time when everyone should be working togetherpic.twitter.com/JHsTycpzEk
— Conán Doherty (@ConanDoherty) March 18, 2020