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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 15 June 2021
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Anthony Tohill after chainsaw accident - 'There's so many people worse off than me'

The iconic Derry footballer has spoken out about the accident he was involved in last year.

Anthony Tohill on Second Captains
Anthony Tohill on Second Captains

DERRY ALL-IRELAND winner Anthony Tohill has spoken out about the horrific eye and facial injuries he suffered in a chainsaw accident last year, insisting ‘there’s so many people worse off than me, you deal with it and get on with it.”

Tohill, who won an All-Ireland senior medal with Derry in 1993 and four Allstars during his career, was speaking on RTÉ’s Second Captains Live show last night.

During the course of an engaging interview, Tohill spoke about the details of the accident that occurred in April 2013 when he was cutting firewood at his home in Swatragh in Derry.

“If you ever cut light timber with a chainsaw, you literally only have to touch it with a chainsaw. Two hands on the saw, bent over and the saw must have hit a knot, it just flicked up.

“My reflexes would still be pretty decent. I’d enough time to blink and the saw cut me just from halfway down the side of my face. I couldn’t see it but I could feel it and I knew there was a fair bit of blood.

“I’d a fair bit of blood but I knew the saw didn’t get me around the neck so I knew I wasn’t going to bleed out.  I was thinking the worst case here is I might lose an eye so I’ll take that.”

Tohill’s wife drove him to a local hospital before he was then moved to Altnagelvin hospital in Derry city. Tohill underwent surgery on his eye and face. He resolved to bounce back from the accident and was adamant to move on.

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“You just have to deal with it. That’s always been my approach to whatever life throws up, you get up and get on with it and deal with it.

“What I was very determined to do was to get back to normal as soon as I could. It’s just getting over that initial shock, meeting people and everyone’s thinking ‘Oh, half your head is missing’. 

“All around you, you look and there’s people so much worse off with so many injuries and so many sicknesses and illnesses. What I got was – yes, it was a bit horrific at the time – but it was no big deal. There’s so many people worse off than me, you deal with it and get on with it.”

There was a widespread warm and positive reaction towards Tohill after the interview:

- Watch the full interview with Anthony Tohill here on the RTÉ Player.

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Fintan O'Toole

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