GPA mobilise heart screening initiative

OVER half of the senior inter-county hurlers and footballers in the country have undergone heart screenings by a new company working with the Gaelic Players' Association.

Ed Donovan of mobile cardiac screening company Heartaid says the remaining hurlers and footballers will be screened in the coming weeks, but stressed the need for all sportspeople to be screened for cardiac problems.

"We're a service provider to the GPA but we don't just work with elite sportspeople -- we've screened the Connacht (rugby) Academy and various other sports clubs," he said.

"It's mandatory in Italy, for instance, where figures for Sudden Adult Death Syndrome have dropped by 89pc as a result."

The tragic death of Tyrone football captain Cormac McAnallen in 2004 brought the issue of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) onto a national stage.

ANTHONY Cunningham has been ratified as the new Galway hurling manager with the primary aim of bringing some consistency to the Tribesmen.

Galway have not contested an All-Ireland hurling final in six years and despite their undoubted talent, they have continually disappointed on the biggest stage in recent times.

Cunningham will be joined at the helm by a backroom team of Tom Helebert and Mattie Kenny and has been handed a three-year tenure to turn Galway around.

The new Galway boss captained the Tribesmen to the All-Ireland minor title in 1983 and to an under-21 title in 1986 before tasting senior success in '87 and '88.

"We have a lot of work to do," he said.

"We need to get consistency into our performances and build from there.

"It won't happen overnight but the talent is there."

Cunningham is currently in charge of Westmeath side Garrycastle and is likely to remain in charge for the remainder of the AIB Club football championship.

He also led Galway to the All-Ireland Under-21 hurling title in 2010 and again this year, defeating Dublin in the final.