Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Sport, Kevin O’Keeffe has said that a coordinated national concussion strategy is required to stem the chronic number of young sports people getting injured while playing popular contact sports such as rugby, soccer, Gaelic football and hurling.

“We have seen in recent times a greater level of concussions being reported in our Emergency Departments. Many consultant doctors have raised concerns about the seriousness and frequency of such incidents in Irish hospitals as a result of sporting activities.

“Parents are very worried about letting their children get involved in contact sports. Their concerns need to be addressed, but we need to ensure that the level of participation in sport, physical activity and recreation increases.

Deputy O’Keeffe was commenting following receipt of a PQ reply from Sport Ireland on behalf of the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport which outlined what individual sporting bodies are doing to mitigate against concussions in their sports.

“Many of the sporting bodies have their own detailed strategies but I am of the belief that a national strategy is required to coordinate activity, and to collate an overall picture of the pervasive impact of concussion in Irish sport today.

“As the intensity of sport increases, and not just sport at a professional or semi-professional level, we need to protect our sports people, and ensure that all steps that can be taken are taken to safeguard their health,” concluded O’Keeffe.