Young Kilbride star Conor Shanagher has been told not to play Gaelic football or any contact sport again after a series of concussions have resulted in doctors telling the 20-year-old that his playing career is over. It is sad for the young man who was making a name for himself with Kilbride and with the Roscommon U-20 team.
In a series of blogs, Conor Shanagher has been explaining his problems with concussion and the treatment and tests he has been undergoing.
In the following short excerpt he tells about the aftermath of a meeting where he and his mother Sandra were told the bad news by Dr. Colin Doherty, a senior neurologist at St. James’ Hospital in Dublin:
“He reminded both of us of the dangers of returning to contact sport and the effects it would have for me and told me stories of sportspeople who suffer with mental health issues in the later years due to concussions.
“A long drive home to Roscommon then followed with not much being said. Due to it being the off season with my club I am only missing out on college football but my decision was made, when you realise a professional neurologist is advising you to stop you really should listen to him.
“There was a lot of soul searching which made me realise for now I’m retired from contact sport. The last thing I thought I would be doing by 20 is retiring from the sport I love but at the end of the day I have to look after my health. This will mean I won’t be playing but I still hope to be an active member of my GAA community with the hope of getting into coaching in the future. Thanks for clicking into the blogs and hope it gave you a quick insight into the dark side of concussions”.