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Is it time for an independent doctor to rule on GAA concussion cases?

Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea thinks it could be time for that introduction.

Aidan O'Shea - 'It's very hard to know what kind of effect that would have on you.'
Aidan O'Shea - 'It's very hard to know what kind of effect that would have on you.'
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

MAYO’S AIDAN O’SHEA admits that there ‘probably should be an independent doctor’ to rule on concussion cases in GAA games.

O’Shea was notably involved in a concussion incident during last August’s All-Ireland semi-final replay thriller against Kerry when he collided with teammate Cillian O’Connor.

It wasn’t the first time that O’Shea has been concussed with the 2013 Allstar revealing yesterday that it has happened to him frequently since he was first concussed at the age of 16.

“There probably should be an independent doctor maybe on the sideline to kind of dictate what happens. It’s very difficult when you’re in the heat of a game and you think you can make a difference, regardless of what state you’re in, to be objective and make a call like that.

“I’’m not a doctor, but I think the more you’’ve been concussed, the more likely it will happen again. I know it’’s happened me quite regularly, at club and county level, for the first time at 15 or 16. But I didn’’t even know what it was then. I know now.”

Anthony Maher and Aidan O'Shea Aidan O'Shea in action in last August's replay against Kerry. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

O’Shea admits he was ‘groggy’ during that extra-time clash against the Kingdom and believes the incident was a significant setback for the Mayo side.

“I was groggy. I wasn’’t 100 per cent. Definitely, I thought after it happened, I thought I’’d be okay. I know James and myself had a long discussion on the sideline about it at the time, but it’s always very difficult from a player’s point of view.

“Obviously, it was a bit of a setback for us. Myself and Cillian were playing well, the previous couple of games, and probably knocked ourselves off course a bit.”

Aidan O'Shea was present at the ESB “EnergyFit” programme in association with FutureFit. Source: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE

The 24 year-old, who is one of the strongest midfield powerhouses in the game, is not planning on tailoring his approach to Gaelic football. He acknowledges the gravity of the issue but doesn’t have concerns for his long-term health.

“I don’’t know the science because you do feel fine after a couple of days. It’s very hard to know what kind of effect that would have on you. It’s only happened six or seven times so hopefully I won’t have any long term effects. But if Brian O’’Driscoll can come through as many concussions as he’’s had I think I’’ll be alright.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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