THE age old tradition of ‘hurlers on the ditch’ having a drag while they watch the match will soon be a thing of the past, it seems.
The sight of GAA followers smoking on the sideline will soon be a rarity if clubs here follow the lead of Derrygonnelly Harps and Erne Gaels GAC who have adopted new policies to have their grounds free of cigarettes, making them healthier places for players and spectators.
Ten years after the ban on smoking in public places was brought in, Erne Gaels GAC in Belleek have adopted the GAA’s Tobacco Free Policy which includes the use of e-cigarettes. This policy will apply to the entire GAA Club grounds, including both internal and external facilities, and there will be no designated smoking areas. The policy applies to all members, officials, coaches, players, parents, visitors and volunteers.
Ciara Hughes of Erne Gaels GAC said, “We believe that the club is setting a positive example for the community with genuine concern for everyone’s health. There is no safe level of exposure to second hand smoke.
“We hope with this policy in place that it will change the norms around tobacco use, encourage people to consider quitting and reduce the initiation of smoking amongst young people.”
Derrygonnelly Harps has been working with the local primary schools in the area to promote the club’s Tobacco free policy. The club formally adopted the policy at the club executive meeting in August 2016, and was the first Fermanagh club to do so.
Club chairman John McGovern said, “Signage will be erected in Canon Maguire Park and the club is asking the local community and visitors to respectfully adhere to this new policy. Club volunteers will also participate in training facilitated by the Public Health Agency, to help maintain the policy.”
Posted: 9:23 am April 19, 2017