herald

Saturday 19 January 2019

Hurling legend Loughnane in hospital with leukaemia

HURLING legend Ger Loughnane is battling leukaemia.

The retired Clare manager, best known for leading the county to two All-Ireland titles in the Nineties, is undergoing treatment at St James's Hospital after being diagnosed with the illness just two weeks ago.

The famous sportsman, who is a household name to many for his work on RTE's The Sunday Game, will be putting all of his work commitments on hold as he undergoes crucial treatment in order to beat the disease, which is rare among adults.

Loughnane is also the principal of St Aidan's National School in Shannon.

Despite being one of the country's most revered GAA players, he is best known for his work as a manager, leading Clare to their first All-Ireland success for 81 years in 1995.

And in 1997, he repeated their success.

In addition to the prestigious All-Ireland titles under their belt, Clare also won three Munster titles under his leadership.

Loughnane semi-retired from management in 2000 and has since become one of sport's best known personalities for his punditry.

His acid-tongued remarks ensure that his commentary is never far from anyone's mind during a hurling match, making him an irreplaceable force on our screens.

Invaluable

But he gave up the success of the small screen for a return to managing Galway in 2006, where he was less successful.

After three seasons, the team failed to make it past the All-Ireland quarter final, and he eventually retired for good three years ago

Despite the fact that he hasn't managed Clare for more than a decade, his services are still seen as being invaluable.

Before this year's Division 2 final, he was brought in to give a motivational talk to Clare players after he discovered that some of the younger generation were being bullied by their older counterparts.

Although it is not known what type of leukaemia Loughnane is battling, the most common type in adults are acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

AML is slightly more common among men than among women, and the risk of getting AML for the average man is about 1 in 250, in comparison to the average woman's risk at approximately 1 in 300.

Several types of treatment may be used in people with AML, and the main treatment for is chemotherapy, but surgery and radiation therapy may be used in special circumstances.

cmcbride@herald.ie

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