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Antrim GAA 'meet the players' event is called off


Cancellation: Ulster GAA chief Brian McEvoy confirmed the event was off

Cancellation: Ulster GAA chief Brian McEvoy confirmed the event was off

Cancellation: Ulster GAA chief Brian McEvoy confirmed the event was off

A GAA 'meet the players'-style event due to be held at a Belfast shopping centre has been cancelled following the Executive's six-week lockdown announcement, Ulster GAA has said.

The Antrim GAA event to mark the success of the senior men's hurling team in the Joe McDonagh Cup was to take place on Saturday afternoon in the Kennedy Centre, located in the west of the city.

Information about the event was tweeted online by the Club Aontroma - an account which promotes "support for county teams" - and was then re-tweeted by the shopping centre's own official Twitter page.

According to the tweet, seven players were due to be in attendance: Domhnall Nugent, Michael Bradley, Gerard Walsh, Conor McHugh, Stephen Rooney, Neil McManus and Paddy Burke.

Antrim won the Joe McDonagh Cup after a 0-22 to 1-17 win over Kerry in the final at Croke Park last weekend.

It was their first ever title.

The tweet also appeared to indicate the players' attendance was to be staggered with various players available at various times; between noon and 1pm, 12.30 and 1pm, 1pm and 1.30pm and 1.30pm and 2pm.

The tweet, which said: "Meet the players who won it" in reference to the Joe McDonagh Cup, also highlighted the need for masks and social-distancing.

Ulster GAA provincial secretary and CEO, Brian McAvoy told the Belfast Telegraph the event had been subsequently cancelled - a day before it was due to take place.

"I had heard that a proposed meet the players event in Kennedy Centre has been cancelled," he said.

The Belfast Telegraph approached the Antrim GAA and the Kennedy Centre for comment. However, neither responded at the time of going to press.

The tweets promoting the event on Friday night also appeared to have been removed.

Its cancellation comes after recent concerns from health officials over long festive shopping queues.

Last weekend Mid East and Antrim council issued Northern Ireland's first improvement notice to the Abbey Centre and its Primark store after images on social media showed hundreds of people lined up waiting to enter the retailer's premises throughout the centre.

Belfast Telegraph