Monday 23 April 2018

Dubs slammed for leaving on concussed O'Carroll

Philly McMahon sustained a cut in the final
Philly McMahon sustained a cut in the final
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Dublin's walking wounded have begun to repair their bodies after the war of attrition with Mayo that brought them their second All-Ireland title in three years.

At least six of the team were carrying significant knocks, tears, cuts and bruises of some description, while many more were feeling the effects of exhaustion after what they concurred was the hardest games of their lives. Philly McMahon sustained a cut, Michael Darragh Macauley played through the entire second half with a suspected fractured toe while Eoghan O'Gara tore his hamstring badly and remained on the field because Dublin had used their quota of substitutes.

The two most serious injuries were sustained by Rory O'Carroll and Johnny Cooper, who both suffered concussion. Cooper left the field but O'Carroll remained on and that decision drew criticism from Acquired Brain Injury Ireland yesterday.

Their chief executive Barbara O'Connell issued a statement raising questions about O'Carroll being left on the field despite clearly suffering the effects of the heavy blow he sustained in his tackle with Enda Varley.

Noting how O'Carroll had been an ambassador for the organisation in the past, she pointed out that the consequences could have been serious.

"I know he will agree that he should have come off the pitch after he got concussed. However, we must also note that as a concussed player Rory's decision-making was impaired at the time and so the decision to come off the pitch should have been taken out of his hands," she said.

"The fear for Rory, or any player who plays on while concussed, is the risk of a second hit resulting in the catastrophe of second impact syndrome."

Dublin manager Jim Gavin agreed and said: "If a player is concussed he should have been off.

"Jonny (Cooper) came straight off because he was diagnosed with concussion and he even vomited up there in the dugout afterwards, and if we had known the extent of Rory's injury he would have been off.

"But that is something that we need to look at in Gaelic games anyway."

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