What is the latest plan for easing of restrictions?

The latest regulations do not change social distancing. Clubs can currently offer outdoor training subject to restrictions, limited indoor training, and limited outdoor events.

The restrictions on school activity during certain times may vary and school clubs should check Department of Education and School guidance. The guidance in this update refers to sporting activity.

Currently, from 24 May

  • Activity for elite athletes can continue as before. 
  • The return to sport protocols put in place by sports governing bodies should be strictly adhered to including hygiene measures, social distancing and other mitigations.
  • Any behaviour which may encourage the risk of transmission around sports activities, such as car sharing, should be avoided. 
  • Clubs are expected to nominate a COVID leader and to consider what sanctions can be imposed on any breaches of guidance.
  • Face coverings must be worn when 2 metre social distance cannot be maintained, or 1m when not face-to-face in boats.
  • These protocols must be enforced by each club, which must take responsibility. It is hoped that clubs will see this as realistic and manageable.
  • Indoor group exercise and training is allowed (numbers informed by venue) and the full return of outdoor sport (with an overall limit of 500 spectators, and 500 participants, at outdoor sporting events). A risk assessment is necessary for gatherings over 30 people outside, or over 15 inside.
  • Limited use of indoor facilities associated with outdoor sport and events, is also allowed. (e.g. Briefing, and use of changing rooms).
  • The organiser must also take all reasonable measures to limit the risk of transmission of the coronavirus.
  • A person responsible for organising a gathering must, if requested to do so by a relevant person, provide a copy of the risk assessment and an account of the reasonable measures taken.
  • Schools are permitted to join in events.
  • No limit on travel within NI to train or go to an event.
  • contact details must be taken and retained.

From 31st May:

An indicative date of 31 May has been set for the return of competitive indoor sport (subject to risk assessment and appropriate mitigations). 

When will multi-household crew rowing be allowed?

This is currently allowed, as rowers are generally not face to face, and can remain a fixed distance apart in the boat. Two protocols are necessary:

  • Crew activity must be controlled so that the full crew moves together to maintain separation (so no part crew exercises where some are moving and some are not).
  • In stern coxed boats if stroke and cox are from different households the cox must wear a face covering and a visor when afloat. 

The Championship Committee met on 25th May to review the current position regarding the running of the 2021 event. With more aspects of daily life starting to return to normal, the committee reaffirmed their desire to run a 2021 Championship. The most important factor in planning such an event however has to be the safety of all athletes, coaches and officials. In this regard the format of the regatta this year will by necessity have to be different as we comply with the necessary restrictions. The Committee will do their utmost to reduce any such changes but we would ask clubs to appreciate that these are not normal times and ask that they work with the Committee in running an enjoyable but more importantly safe event.

For more information, see the Update document below.

Please send any queries in relation to the Championships to


The Irish Government has announced the 7th of June as the date for the return of events in Sport. The Northern Ireland Executive and Sport Northern Ireland are also well advanced in their plans for the opening up of sporting events.  While we await the specific details of how these events are to be run safely and with how many participants allowed, we can now start planning to organize events for our clubs and our members.

Rowing Ireland has been in constant communication with Sport Ireland and Sport Northern Ireland evaluating the information coming out and looking for the best possible and importantly the safest method for running our events.

Sport Ireland and Sport Northern Ireland have recognized Rowing as a safe, non-contact outdoor sport that can operate in a safe manner. With this in mind the Championship committee have scheduled a meeting for next week to set a date for the much-anticipated 2021 Championship.

With this announcement in mind, Rowing Ireland will host a webinar to inform and support event organisers with preparations regarding the “Return to Rowing Events”. The webinar will address concerns around; Domestic Events Committee sanction, Covid protocols, Numbers allowed, entry procedures, spectators, timetables, the successful planning and running of an event within the protocols and guidelines.

Rowing Ireland wishes to support and encourage clubs to start the planning of small local events for June and larger inclusive events going into July and August. Like all our members we are excited about the return of competition and we have all been frustrated by the ongoing pandemic. We have worked hard to keep each other safe and made many sacrifices along the way, now is the time to plan and commit to dates for the return of competition in our wonderful sport.

Rowing Ireland webinar

Return to Rowing Events

Wednesday 26th of May at 8 pm. Please use the link below to register.

Webinar Registration link

Continuing from last week’s tremendous success, our Irish rowers retake center stage this weekend at World Cup II in Lucerne.

All our Irish rowers this weekend have come from our very successful club programs. It is important that we recognise our clubs where volunteer coaches, administrators, mentors and supporters have introduced and developed these athletes to the sport of rowing and also helped them reach their full potential in their athletic career.

Every person involved in rowing in Ireland understands the commitment and drive needed to succeed at the top level of rowing. The commitment and drive within these athletes were nurtured and developed within their clubs by groups of coaches, committees, and supporters who have been committed and passionate about rowing.

Over this weekend, we will hopefully see podium finishes for many of our rowers, another highlight for our high achieving High-Performance team. You won’t have seen the hundreds, if not thousands of hours of dedicated, passionate, enthusiastic, mentoring and coaching of these rowers by our club members. 5 am mornings, wet and cold sitting in a launch, parents delivering and collecting rowers at crazy hours. Fundraising, cleaning, feeding, providing the opportunities for our club rowers to become the best in the world.

Once again, we want to acknowledge the sacrifices and passionate commitment made by our club, coaches, officials and supporters. Remember when that rower takes their first stroke in this weekend’s competition, and then hopefully, when they take a step onto the podium, you gave them a leg up. Without our clubs, there are no world beaters.

You played an essential part in getting that rower into that race and onto that podium.

Thank you all.

Pat Kiely, Rowing Ireland Club Support Officer

Women’s Pair (2-)Aileen CrowleyOld Collegians Boat Club
 Monika DukarskaKillorglin Rowing Club
Women’s pair (2-)Tara HanlonUCC / Cork Boat Club
 Claire FeerickNeptune Rowing Club
Men’s Double (2x)Philip DoyleBelfast Boat Club
 Ronan ByrneUCC / Shandon Boat Club
Men’s Four (4-)Alex ByrneUCC/ Shandon Boat Club
 Ross CorriganEnniskillen Royal Boat Club / Queens University Belfast
 Jack DorneyShandon Boat Club
 John KearneyUCC / Cork Boat Club
Women’s Single (1x)Sanita PuspureOld Collegians Boat Club
Lightweight Men’s Single (2x)Paul O’ DonovanUCC / Skibbereen Rowing club
 Fintan McCarthySkibbereen Rowing Club
Lightweight Women’s Single (1x)Lydia HeaphyUCC / Skibbereen Rowing Club
Lightweight Men’s Single (1x)Gary O’ DonovanSkibbereen Rowing Club

Sport Ireland has provided a new e-learning course to help the return of sport in Ireland. The course is free and is available for volunteers, coaches, athletes and members.

The Sport Ireland Covid-19: Return to Sport e-Learning Course has been updated to reflect the most up to date Government guidelines.

The course aims to provide a supportive resource to assist sport to return on a phased basis while managing the ongoing risks associated with the COVID-19 virus. At all times, the health of those participating in and facilitating sport and physical activity is the priority.

Complete the Return to Sport e-Learning Course

For more information please visit,