All Star leads CRY's attack
HE'S the Footballer-of-the-Year. He's covered more ground than Willie O'Dea. He has the engine of a Rolls Royce.
Michael Darragh Macauley visited the CRY Centre at Tallaght Hospital last week. He underwent a full evaluation of his cardiac health.
He got the all-clear. The results were revealed to the early morning viewers on TV3's Ireland AM.
The Dublin midfielder is now urging people to follow his example.
"Cormac McAnallen's death was the first to bring SADS (Sudden Adult Death) into the spotlight," says Michael.
"It really shook the GAA community. Getting the screening done is very important. And my message to everybody is to just go and get it done."
Last Saturday, a Healing Service took place at St Alphonsus Monastery in Drumcondra, where families gathered to celebrate all those who have died suddenly.
Greg and Elsa Leonard organised the event. Their son Fran played for Erin's Isle. He was a role model of Farnham Drive.
The Round Tower and Dublin U21 footballer Ciarán Carr also died from SADS. His friend Barry Keane is also intent on raising the profile of CRY's work.
"My advice to parents, teachers, community leaders, everybody is to get in touch. There's help available for fundraising to put defibrillators in schools and sports clubs etc."
Dublin manager Jim Gavin launched the campaign to have a defibrillator in every school in Clondalkin. The village people would love to see that aim replicated throughout Ireland.
Dr Deirdre Ward is a consultant cardiologist. She says there is a misunderstanding regarding the notion that exercising too intensively can lead to death.
"If you are perfectly physical normal, you can't exercise yourself to the point of death," explains Deirdre.
"But if you have an underlying condition, you may be increasing the risk. That's why being tested brings peace of mind."
Deirdre adds that CRY has three main aims – to provide counselling services for people who have been affected, to provide information for both medical people and the general public about SADS, and to help set up a centre to support people and families who might be at risk of SADS and to try and help prevent it.
In Finglas last week, Erin's Isle and O'Dwyer's gathered to honour the memory of Fran Leonard. The adult teams played, and so did the club's U10s.
Hopefully, all the top 10s will go on to have happy, healthy sporting lives. That's exactly what Fran, Ciarán and Cormac would want. And Michael Darragh too.
Visit www.cry.ie and log onto www.ciarancarrfoundation.ie