Rule a boost to helmet makers

THE GAA’s decision to make hurling helmets mandatory from 2010 has provided manufacturers with a timely, mid recession cash injection.

Well-known safety helmet makers Cooper, whose product has been worn by players for 40 years, have reported a pre-Christmas sales boost in advance of the new rule which kicked in from January 1.

It’s a welcome situation sure to be replicated by rival helmet suppliers such as Mycro.

“Definitely December would have been a good month for us,” said Ronan Lally, Managing Director of Cooper.

“You’d always get the extra sales approaching Christmas as presents but when the figures come back I would expect last month to see sales up by between 15% and 20% which is great.

“We expect sales to increase even more in march because we have a new senior helmet coming out.”

Waterford forward Eoin Kelly was the most vocal critic of the new rule regarding mandatory helmet use, suggesting that the GAA was treating its players like children.

Kelly complained that he felt ‘very claustrophobic’ in a helmet while others have argued that older players should be allowed to finish their careers as they began them, without helmets.

Lally believes the flood of complaints will dwindle down in the coming months to a slow trickle before helmets are eventually accepted by everyone.

“When the helmet rule came in for U-21s you had the same comments but after a couple of years it just became normal to wear helmets and nobody was complaining,” he added.

MARC Sports will make their presence known in the safety helmet market tomorrow when they hold a high-profile launch at Croke Park.

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up