GAA Club denies claims over ‘lock in’ at clubhouse

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A LOCAL GAA club at the centre of a false rumour that they held a ‘lock-in’ last month that resulted in coronavirus cases has strenuously denied the claims.

St Jude’s GAA Club in Templeogue was the subject of an anonymous WhatsApp message over the weekend, where it was falsely claimed that the club held a ‘lock-in’ and several people in attendance contracted Covid-19.

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St Jude’s GAA Club

According to the Executive Committee of St Jude’s GAA Club, the message contained “unfounded accusations” and they have contacted gardai about the issue.

The Echo understands that St Jude’s opened their clubhouse for food and drink for five evenings in December, and they adhered to strict protocols each night and did not hold a ‘lock-in’.

The protocols included the requirement for people who attended to book in advance and be a member of the club, the tables were all socially distanced and customers couldn’t move between tables, and customers’ temperatures were checked at the front door of the clubhouse before they could enter.

A spokesperson from St Jude’s confirmed that a ‘lock-in’ wasn’t held in the clubhouse, and that there were no coronavirus clusters or cases as a result of the five evenings when the clubhouse was open and serving food and drink.

In a statement released on Monday night in relation to the WhatsApp message, the Executive Committee of St Jude’s said: “The club, and local businesses, were the subject of an anonymous WhatsApp message campaign over the last 24 hours.

“Social Media allows untruths, rumours and gossip to spread quickly and widely.

“To be very clear, the allegations in the message are totally unfounded.

“They are untrue, and there is categorically no basis in fact for the serious allegations.

“CLG Naomh Jude has at all times during the pandemic worked with local authorities, community organisations, local businesses, schools, and ensured that all HSE guidelines were followed.

“We support all of the frontline staff in their efforts to defeat Covid-19.”

The statement continued: “After one of our most successful years on and off the pitch, we will not be discouraged by cynical or malicious attempts to undermine the work of our club.

“We take these unfounded allegations seriously, and have engaged with An Garda Siochána regarding our Covid-19 systems.

“Any further allegations of illegal action against the club will be referred to the appropriate authorities.”

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