Saturday 18 November 2017

Michael Darragh Macauley: Getting concussion is a big fear as a player

O'Carroll regrets convincing referee he wasn't concussed in 2013 decider

Michael Darragh Macauley
Michael Darragh Macauley

Michael Darragh Macauley says concussion is "a scary thing for player," as the issue continues to make its way towards the top of the agenda amongst the Irish sporting fraternity.

RTÉ's Monday night documentary Hidden Impact further unveiled the associated and complex dangers of such brain injury in sports and the Dublin midfielder recalled twice being concussed in matches for his club, Ballyboden St Enda's.


"I didn't realise I was really concussed until I asked my manager what time training was at during the week.

"He said, 'Michael Darragh you are going on holidays tomorrow," the 2013 Footballer of the Year recalled.

"Lucky enough my dad and brother were both doctors and at the game. They had me straight into Vincent's Hospital."

Noting the recent decision of Kevin McLaughlin to retire from rugby union aged 31 after repeated concussions, Macauley suggested that "the change of mindset that has come into rugby has come into GAA as well.

"There's been a few high profile incidents. It's really highlighted it among the GAA community.

"I was concussed twice with my club, well before I ever played inter county football.

"Look," he added, "it's a scary thing for a player."

Rory O'Carroll - Macauley's fellow Acquired Brain Injury Ireland ambassador - revealed earlier this year that he "would very seriously consider continuing to play GAA," if concussed again and says he regrets now "convincing the doctor that I was OK, and the referee," during the 2013 All-Ireland final.

"I suppose it was because it was the All-Ireland Final and we had no substitutes left," he said.

"I was recognised as a concussion. It's about changing the culture in game."

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