BILL Shankly was wrong: football of any code is not more important than life or death.
And if anyone was in any doubt about that sentiment, they should have been in Suite 686 at Croke Park yesterday. A gathering headed by Philip and Gemma Carr, parents of young Round Towers player Ciaran Carr who died of SADS (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome) last year, attended the launch of the Ciaran Carr Foundation.
Also present were Dublin manager Jim Gavin and county chairman Andy Kettle, GAA director general Paraic Duffy plus friends and clubmates of Ciaran, who was the only child of Philip and Gemma.
The Carrs and a specially appointed committee have set up the foundation to educate parents, club managers and committees and players about the danger of SADS.
They also want to encourage screening programmes, and stressed the importance of having defibrillators and people trained in their use and in CPR at clubs and pitchside at games at all levels.
Ciaran was 20 when he died. He collapsed during an indoor training session in January 2012 and despite intensive attention on the spot and in hospital he could not be revived. He had not previously shown any signs of cardiac problems.
Gavin said: "We're trying to encourage clubs, managers and coaches to become aware of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome, to recognise the symptoms and learn how to deal about it so what happened Ciaran Carr doesn't happen again.
"Philip and Gemma are two very inspirational people. Their presence today is very much appreciated."
The Foundation aims to work with CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) and the Irish Heart Foundation.