O’Neill: Others face tougher situations

Cork attacker Colm O’Neill has revealed that he is staying philosophical with regard to dealing with his third cruciate ligament injury in the space of six years.

In a posting on the GAA Just Play blog, O’Neill stated that, prior to his operation in the Whitfield Clinic in Waterford a month ago, he reminded himself of those in far graver situations, such as teenager Donal Walsh, who is battling against cancer, or jockey JT McNamara, who was recently paralysed after a fall.

“As we pulled into the car park of the clinic, we were met with a signpost: turn left for the main hospital or right for the Whitfield Cancer Centre,” he wrote.

My Dad turned to me and said it would be a lot worse if you were heading in the other door. This is undoubtedly true, and it certainly put things in perspective for me.

“It’s a tough break, and for sure I feel very unlucky that it is happening for a third time, but in the overall scheme of things, there are people fighting much bigger battles than I am.

Donal Walsh, the 16-year-old Kerry lad who appeared on the Saturday Night Show a few weeks back, springs to mind.

“This young guy is taking the fight to cancer in a way that is truly inspirational. His attitude towards life, and his spirit in the face of such adversity are incredible. A real hero.

“The jockey JT McNamara is also someone who crossed my mind that morning. There are so many people out there that are in much tougher situations. Me feeling sorry for myself is not going to get me anywhere.”

A return to work with his employers AIB was also welcomed by O’Neill, who had become sick of being stuck at home.

“Home and Away was my staple diet for that time off, but when I started to watch the same episode twice a day, I knew I was on a slippery slope,” he wrote.

“I am proud to say that I never tuned in to watch Jeremy Kyle or Dr Phil, but it wasn’t long until I hit rock bottom; Telly Bingo. It wasn’t long after this that I felt it was time to get back to work.

“I am due to start more intense rehab with Cork physio Colin Lane this week, and I am looking forward to the challenge. Onwards and upwards. A little step at a time.”


In January of 1994, RTÉ reporter Tommie Gorman was given a diagnosis that would change his life.Examine Yourself: Getting cancer made sense of everything for Tommie Gorman

In aid of Cancer Awareness Week, we convinced four of our columnists to bare all for our Examine Yourself campaign.Examine Yourself: Baring all for Cancer Awareness Week

It was an effervescent and often moving turn by an artist with a meaningful claim to the title of world’s most interesting pop star.Ariana Grande's opening night at 3Arena in Dublin proved why she is the world's most interesting pop star

Marian Duggan was in her 20s and could not imagine that her symptoms could be so serious, not even when a tennis-ball-size cyst was removed from her left ovary, says Helen O’Callaghan.Examine Yourself: 'I thought I was too young to have cancer'

More From The Irish Examiner