Ciara O’Sullivan recovering after ‘scary’ concussion

Ciara O’Sullivan doesn’t remember hitting her head. The assist that whizzed by her as she slipped on the Parnell Park turf she does recall. After that, things become hazy.

Ciara O’Sullivan recovering after ‘scary’ concussion

“I’ve no recollection of being down, none, which is kind of scary,” admits the Cork captain, who suffered concussion in Saturday’s Division 1 NFL final against Mayo.

“I remember them saying to bring in the stretcher and I said ‘no I can walk’, and then I think they said I tried to stand up, but again, I’ve no recollection of that.

“You never hear of concussion in ladies football. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of someone suffering from concussion playing ladies football, and the ironic thing is that I didn’t even hit my head against another player, it was off the ground.”

But, just four days before O’Sullivan got concussed, the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) adopted the GAA’s Concussion Guidelines with agreed amendments for female players.

“I thought my head was going to split open the following day. It is a serious issue, and I wasn’t aware of that until now,” admitted the 25-year-old All-Star-winning forward.

Having undergone a precautionary scan, the Deloitte employee was given the all clear, but has been ruled out of action for three to four weeks, meaning it’s likely she’ll miss the second round of the Munster Championships against champions Kerry on May 28. Her younger sister, Doireann, will also miss out on the first two championship games having departed for the USA for four weeks on Wednesday with fellow panelist Máire O’Callaghan.

While O’Sullivan was being medically checked, veteran Deirdre O’Reilly accepted the Division 1 NFL Cup on Cork’s behalf.

The choice, says O’Sullivan, couldn’t have been better.

“We were joking afterwards that it was the worst speech ever, and she said she did much better than I would ever have done anyway!

“But, we were having a good laugh about it and I was delighted to see her up there because she trains harder than anyone.”

In what was Cork’s 10th Division 1 title in 12 seasons, O’Sullivan was also delighted for coach Ephie Fitzgerald on earning his first piece of silverware, but special mention too went to the newer players on the squad.

“It was great for the likes of Eimear Meaney to get a massive game like that under her belt, and Hannah Looney too.

“You can sometimes take it for granted if you’ve played in league finals before, but they’re a huge deal and I think it’ll really benefit us that the newer girls got that experience before Championship.”

And so to Waterford, for whom former Cork senior selector Noel ‘Dip’ O’Connor will be on the line for the Déise.

“They’re going to know us very well with Dip having been with us a number of years. But, at this level, any team you’re going to play will have their homework done.

“Because they have Dip though, I think that puts them even more on par, despite the fact that we haven’t played them for a number of years.

“Dip was one of the first people to text me on Saturday night actually, and he knows us all very well. He’s been very good to us, so it’ll be interesting for him to be on the other side of the fence.”

Cork last played Waterford in the Munster Championship in 2007, and O’Sullivan has never played them since she joined the squad in 2008.

“I’ve watched them in the Division 3 NFL final and replay, and they’ve some very good players. Those two close, competitive matches will have brought them on so much and we’ll have to be very wary because they’re coming in on the back of winning an All-Ireland and league. Granted they’re in a league lower, but that means nothing come championship, and success is a good habit to have.”

Meanwhile, Tipperary will be looking to bounce back from their Division 3 NFL final replay defeat when they take on Division 4 winners Limerick in the Munster IFC in Martinstown at 4pm.

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