All GAA facilities must remain closed, including the use of all pitches for recreational purposes, until July 20 at least due to Covid-19 restrictions but in the meantime clubs and county boards are allowed to undertake necessary work on their grounds.
Phase 1 of the Government's plan to re-open Ireland, which began on Monday, marks the return for outdoor work, such as construction.
Construction and pitch development work has begun or resumed at many GAA facilties this week including the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence in Bekan which sees the development of a new state-of-the-art Air Dome.
In a statement released to clubs and counties, the GAA said that it "will allow limited permission for approved works to proceed from the 18 May within our facilities" and offered guidelines for clubs and counties carrying out development work which apply to those across all 32 counties of Ireland.
"The Government’s roadmap for re-opening society and business outlines that from May 18 that we can “return to outdoor work," the statement reads.
"This implies that construction and pitch development work can possibly be undertaken by our Clubs.
"It is acknowledged, that whilst the Association has stated that GAA facilities would remain closed for the time being, that Club Officers are anxious to use this time to undertake necessary work on facilities which will improve them and make them better for our members.
"In this regard Croke Park will allow limited permission for approved works to proceed from the 18 May within our facilities."
In deciding whether to start or re-start such improvement works the following guidelines must be adhered to:
Financing of development works
Where developments and enhancements of facilities can be undertaken without recourse to borrowings, this is an ideal opportunity to undertake these works. However, clubs should factor into their decision making that there may be very limited further income this year before using up cash balances on capital works or maintenance. Clubs should be absolutely sure they have enough funding or forecasted income to see them through to the end of 2021 before incurring any capital spending at this time.
Where borrowings are required, Clubs are advised not to enter debt at the present time when the fundraising ability of our Clubs is significantly reduced due to the Public Health restrictions. The current crisis has given rise to a very difficult financial situation for all of our units, and indeed the wider economy, whilst we are all anxious to develop our facilities, we should take a prudent approach in this regard.
It should be noted that loans already approved from the GAA Development Fund will remain committed and in place, but drawdown will not be possible until things return to normal and all GAA activities re-commence.
Clubs should advise the Department of Sport (or other funders) where grants have been allocated that the project is being delayed due to the current restrictions.
Clubs are advised that there will be no capital development grants available in 2020 but works undertaken will be considered for grant aid in future years.
As per the terms and conditions of the GAA Insurance policy all construction activities must be notified and agreed in advance with GAA Insurance Department or GAA Insurance Brokers Marsh Ireland. Failure to notify development works in advance will result in the development being uninsured meaning the GAA Property & Liability Insurance policy will not extend to development when completed.
The requirements of The Association in relation to contractors undertaking construction work are as follows:
Contractor to provide evidence of Public Liability insurance with a minimum limit of €6.5 Million
Contractor to evidence of Employers Liability Insurance (if applicable) with a minimum limit of €13 Million
Contractor to Provide evidence of Contractors All Risk Cover in place
The limit of insurance on the Contractors All Risks policy must be equal or greater to that of the contract/ project.
GAA club must be noted as Joint Insured in Contractors All Risk policy and are specifically indemnified (along with The Association) under the Contractors Liability Policy.
A copy of the contract to be provided to the GAA Risk & Insurance Manager/Marsh Ireland in advance of any works taking place
Contractor must operate the site in full compliance with Construction Industry SOP for Covid-19 return to work and have completed a Covid-19 risk assessment.
Health & Safety
All developments and enhancements of Club facilities must adhere to current Health, Safety and Welfare legislation, must comply with all relevant medical advice in relation to the safe operation of workplaces, take account of construction industry guidelines (i.e. Construction Industry Federation – C-19 Pandemic Standard Operating Procedures and Construction Employers Federation NI guidance) adhere to all relevant Covid-19 specific legislation including social distancing measures.Tweet