Dublin GAA star: Football is a 'crazy sport' and sometimes 'not good for the brain'
Published 12/10/2016 | 02:30
One of Dublin's All-Ireland winning footballers has described how the game can be a "crazy sport" which isn't "good for the brain" when dealing with defeats in high-stakes championship games.
Dublin stalwart and 2015 All-Star Philly McMahon also described how the contrast between preparing for an All-Ireland encounter and returning to work after a defeat "can play tricks with you" mentally.
Although the Dublin team haven't suffered a championship defeat in two years, both McMahon and his team-mates remember the defeat against Donegal in the 2014 All-Ireland semi-final. "GAA is a crazy sport. In one way, it's a beautiful sport when you win an All-Ireland and the lads are out celebrating, but I'm a teetotaller. I do a celebration for two days and I'm back in work," he said.
"You're preparing for a quarter-final, a semi-final; you're going through unbelievable lengths to prepare yourself for them games and all of a sudden you lose the game and you're back to work. It can play tricks with you, especially if you lose them games, it's really not good for the brain," McMahon told the Irish Independent.
The Dublin defender was speaking at the launch of the 'Time to Talk' joint initiative involving Pieta House and Lyons Tea, which hopes to raise awareness about both mental health and suicide.
McMahon was joined by team-mate Paul Flynn and the two men spoke candidly about mental health in Ireland. Last year, 451 people died by suicide in the State.
Flynn, who lost a friend through suicide in 2012, has been involved with Pieta House for over four years and said he hoped the initiative would encourage people to discuss their problems.
"I got involved initially because I lost a friend through suicide back in 2012. We ended up getting involved to try raise awareness around our local area and the main beneficiary of the fundraiser was Pieta.
"I felt an attachment with them there after that and I wanted to get involved.
"If you can help one person and change their mind, and maybe seek out services (for them) and save their life, then it's worth while," he said.
Philly McMahon also said that he hoped the campaign would raise awareness surrounding the issue of mental health and suicide in Ireland
"I suppose my influence was to come down to support Paul (Flynn) and to use our profile to get the message out there, that it's okay to talk."