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GAA plays its part as Croker and other grounds used as free Covid test centres


Croke Park, home of the GAA

Croke Park, home of the GAA

Croke Park, home of the GAA

The GAA, which is facing lost revenues of up to £54m this year due to the lockdown, has provided its Croke Park facilities and other grounds across the Republic for Covid testing at no cost.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) set up its first drive-thru test centre for north Dublin at Croke Park on March 15. A walk-in test centre commenced on March 29.

Figures show that a total of 17,195 appointments were scheduled up to the end June 17.

A total of 10,807 appointments have been made with the walk-in centre and 6,388 have been made at the drive-thru.

The HSE confirmed that it is occupying part of the facility at no cost.

The figures show that the GAA has provided all of the grounds used as Covid test centres at virtually no cost to the HSE.

The HSE states that the projected capital spend on its 49 test centres is €2.2m.

The HSE stated: "Some test centres were required for a short period of time only. Decisions on this were made by local service management, based on service needs/numbers of people referred for testing. The capital cost of the facility was dependent on the facility itself. Some did not require any alterations/amendments and consequently were at zero cost.

"Others required a lot of alterations such as amended access road; increased parking areas; the creation of Testing Bays; portacabins for staff facilities and awnings."

Earlier this week it was revealed the Muslim celebration of Eid will take place at Croke Park this month.

Places of worship closed at the beginning of the pandemic on March 12; however public health advice will allow a maximum of 100 in an indoor setting from July 20.

Belfast Telegraph