Former DCU star and current Donegal GAA captain Michael Murphy has stated that while the GAA has always been to the forefront of Irish culture there are more important things in this world to worry about than sport, as the COVID-19 pandemic increases in Ireland.
As of Tuesday the 24th of March, all sports activities are shut down in Ireland including GAA matches that were debated to be played behind closed doors with Donegal full-forward Michael Murphy claiming that health must come first, and cancelling sport is the right thing to do.
“Obviously the GAA is apart of so many peoples lives and all you want to do is get back out and train with your county or club but when it’s a matter of life and death sometimes you have to prioritise and understand that sport isn’t the be all and end all and that the health of the people of Ireland comes first. There are more important things in life than just sport,” said Murphy.
The 30-year-old from Glenswilly in North Donegal is a three-time GAA all-star winner and was part of DCU’s winning Sigerson team back in 2012 under manager Niall Moyna. This was the same year that Murphy, then only 23-years-old captained his native county to only their second All-Ireland championship in history.
With a pandemic that many people believed would subside after just a few weeks now looks like could continue on into the next number of months with all sports around the country set to be cancelled including the GAA season, something that hasn’t been done to interrupt the GAA inter county calendar since the Spanish flu of 1918 which became one of the deadliest epidemics in human history.
With inter county teams not meeting up to train or play matches, Murphy has claimed he is still doing his own individual program like most of his teammates with some GAA stars even posting videos on Facebook and Twitter doing sports challenges around their house or coaching children the simple fundamentals of GAA.
The 2020 GAA campaign was also suppose to be a building block for the years to come with the football championship set to break into two tiers come next season. With the GAA now on hold Murphy has still complimented his teams league campaign thus far, especially with the number of young players starting to come through and put a mark down, holding praise for Conor Morrison and Brendan McCole who were apart of DCU’s Sigerson winning side last month.
Murphy has admitted that he does not know what will happen in the coming months but has fully supported the measures taken by the government so far and hopes people remain safe through this pandemic.
“People are probably really frustrated at the moment, but it’s very important that we stay indoors and be patient so we can prevent any harm to someone around the country. I hope soon this will all be over but only if we follow the rules of what we’ve been told.”
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