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Ramsey Cardy/SPORTSFILE Dublin footballer Rory O'Carroll with pupils from Scoil Áine, Raheny yesterday.
# Weigh It Up
One of Dublin's key players would consider quitting if he's concussed again
It’s a serious issue for Rory O’Carroll.

ONE OF THE cornerstones of the Dublin senior football team has admitted that he would consider quitting the game if he suffered another concussion.

Rory O’Carroll suffered a concussion in a high-profile incident in the 2013 All-Ireland football final but was left to play on for the final 16 minutes as Dublin had already used their five permitted substitutes.

The Dublin full-back is adamant that it is something he would ‘seriously consider’ if he was concussed again.

“The experts in Acquired Brain Injury Ireland would say three times is a knockout. If I was to receive another serious concussion, I would very seriously consider continuing playing.

Your career is I suppose, on average ten years is a good one. Out of your life that could be an eighth. I would rather consider my future life to be honest.

In February O’Carroll was moved to write a letter to The Irish Times on the subject following an incident in an Irish rugby game.

Rory Best Ryan Byrne / INPHO Rory Best during Ireland's 6 Nations game against Italy. Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

The letter read in full:

Sir, – Mick Kearney, the Irish team manager (“Ireland hope to have six of the best back for France”) is quoted as saying the following: “Rory Best suffered concussion. He has been very well since the game and is completing a gradual return-to-play protocol”. [He sustained a head injury against Italy in the opening match.]

On the IRFU website is its guide to concussion which states: “Minimum rest period post-concussion: 14 days. Minimum time-out: 21 days. Graduated return to play: 6 days”.

Maybe it’s just me, but reconciling the word “minimum” and seeing Rory Best pummel head-first into countless rucks on Saturday begs the need for clarity.

– Yours, etc, RORY O’CARROLL Woodlands, Stillorgan, Co Dublin.

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Mick Kearney Morgan Treacy / INPHO Ireland team manager Mick Kearney. Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

It is clearly a subject that the 2013 Allstar winner is passionate about and he is dubious as to whether the two-week protocol in rugby is ‘sufficient’.

“It’s about trying to strive to get the best structures possible,” remarked O’Carroll.

It’s never going to be perfect. You can’t treat a brain the way you treat a hamstring, you can’t give deep tissue massage to a brain.

“I wouldn’t be convinced that the two week gap is sufficient. How can you justify the two week gap – despite the medical care – (as) these players are receiving bigger and stronger hits.”


The Kilmacud Crokes club man is confident that it is not a major source of concern in GAA and is keen to stress that he is not ‘bashing rugby’

Kieran Donaghy and Rory OÕCarroll Cathal Noonan / INPHO Rory O'Carroll in action in this year's league for Dublin against Kerry. Cathal Noonan / INPHO / INPHO

“To be honest in Gaelic games, I wouldn’t be hugely concerned. The incident rate is far lower.

“Concussion can happen in anything but you have to look at where is it most likely to happen. I think it’s far more likely to happen in the game of rugby rather than GAA.

I don’t want to get into GAA bashing rugby. That’s not what it’s about. My views don’t represent Dublin GAA or anybody else, apart from myself.

“Concussion happens in many other sports which are played in Ireland. It’s not just a rugby thing. What sparked this was my letter to the Irish Times and that was specifically in relation to rugby.”

Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO


Rory O’Carroll was speaking yesterday at the launch of the AIG/JF Dunne Insurance Pupil Protector Plan.

The Pupil Protector Insurance Plan is an innovative Personal Accident Plan designed to provide financial support and assurance in the event of an accident to a child. More information available from JF Dunne Insurances on 045 878500.

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