Burns praises referee who ordered his son off pitch
Jarlath Burns has praised the judgement of MacRory Cup semi-final referee Sean Hurson, who insisted the former Armagh midfielder's son leave the field with suspected concussion.
Jarlath Óg Burns was forced to withdraw during the second half of St Paul's Bessbrook's game against St Ronan's of Lurgan, after Hurson assessed him following a collision with an opposition player.
After the game, the player was seen to by paramedics and doctors and taken away on a stretcher to be assessed, and he passed all the protocols on concussion.
"It is important to say that it was an accidental knock in an otherwise excellently-played, sporting match," said Burns senior, who is the school principal of St Paul's and a well-known GAA official.
"I would thank the referee for his very quick action. And the paramedics and everyone else that was there need to be thanked too.
"Jarly Óg is in great form now. He is looking forward to the final. We are very pleased with the progress he is making."
St Paul's beat St Ronan's in the semi-final, 1-17 to 2-6 to book their place in the decider against St Pat's Maghera. It makes for a repeat of the 2013 final, when Pat's beat Paul's 2-5 to 0-10.
The subject of concussion is prominent across all sports at present, especially in rugby.
Former Armagh forward Ronan Clarke sustained concussion and was placed in an induced coma after colliding with a goalpost during a match for Pearse Óg last summer.
Burns was thankful for the actions of referee Hurson in enforcing his authority and insisting that the young Silverbridge midfielder leave the field.
"The referee is the perfect man to make that adjudication, the perfect position, because he is dispassionate and detached," he added.
Burns now turns his attentions to preparations for the final on St Patrick's Day, likely to be held in the Cathedral City.
St Paul's are relative newcomers to Gaelic football at this level and will be coming up against one of the real blue bloods at this level in St Pat's.
"There is a great excitement in the school and it is great for the lads that we are in it," he explained.
"We have been in MacRory four years now, and this is our second final.
"Last year we got to a semi-final and we are very, very proud of these group of lads, they are a fantastic group of players and the whole south Armagh community, as usual, will support us."