Top players back to promote awareness of head injuries

At an event in Croke Park, GAA President Liam Ó Néill gave his support to Acquired Brain Injury Ireland’s Concussion Awareness Campaign.

Backed by the GAA and the GPA, brain injury specialists Acquired Brain Injury Ireland have launched the Concussion Awareness Video Campaign, aimed at educating players, coaches, volunteers and parents about the signs and symptoms of concussion, and about concussion management.

GAA President Liam Ó Néill lent his support to the initiative.

He said: “Due attention is now being paid to what is potentially a very serious condition for our players and one that is not uncommon in our games.

“Just as we treat muscular and skeletal injuries, we must also be mindful of the very real issues that surround concussion, even when players are reluctant to cut short their involvement in a game. Similarly, the recovery periods associated with concussion need to be watched carefully and observed.

“I laud ABI Ireland and everyone who had a role in the production of this video and their ongoing work in drawing attention to acquired brain injuries in general.”

Speaking at the launch of the Concussion Awareness Video, Barbara O’Connell, Chief Executive of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland said, “Concussion is an injury that must be taken seriously. If a player returns to the field with a concussion, they put themselves at risk of second impact syndrome, during which the brain swells rapidly, resulting in a serious brain injury.

“Players who do not manage concussion seriously are leaving themselves susceptible to a long-term endurance of a collection of concussion symptoms, including headaches, depression, personality change, memory and concentration problems, sleep disturbance and mood swings”.

ABI Ireland Ambassadors and GAA players who are standing strongly behind this campaign, and feature in the video include Dublin footballers Michael Darragh Macauley and Paul Griffin, Tipperary hurler Noel McGrath, Armagh footballer Ciaran McKeever and Mayo footballer Conor Mortimer.