GAA Football

Jim McCorry dodges questions over Jarlath Og Burns

Jarlath Og Burns in action for Armagh. Picture by Seamus Loughran
From Cahair O'Kane at Clones

ARMAGH assistant manager Jim McCorry batted away questions over the decision to play Jarlath Óg Burns in the county’s Ulster SFC semi-final replay defeat by Cavan two weeks ago.

The call came under scrutiny when Burns was taken to hospital in an ambulance after the game. He had been taken off in the drawn game seven days earlier after a clash of heads with a team-mate.

McCorry said after the game that Burns was “a wee bit fuzzy”, and later commented that “it wasn’t the full concussion but we thought it best not to put him back in”.

The following day McCorry clarified his remarks, stating that there was “no indication” Burns had suffered a concussion, adding that the main concern of the county’s medical team surrounded an eye injury sustained in the collision.

Burns suffered from a headache from the early stages of the replay and was withdrawn a minute from time before falling ill in the changing room. He was taken to Cavan and Monaghan hospital before being released later that evening.

A subsequent MRI is understood to have come back clear.

Armagh county board released a statement the following day that confirmed his hospital trip, but made no reference to the reason for it.

Burns played a starring role again on Saturday evening as Armagh claimed a brilliant qualifier win over Monaghan.

Asked to outline the facts around the injury and how he came to play in the replay – which fell inside the seven-day window during which players are not meant to return to action under GAA concussion guidelines – McCorry said: “The important thing is what you saw with Jarly today and how well he played.

“The facts are that Jarly’s 100 per cent fit. He was up and down from 14’ to 14’ today, trying to drive through attacks and set up scores. He has a tremendous engine on him.

“Great footballer, great fella to work with, he listens to what the coaching staff and Kieran say to him. It was great to have him back today in full flight.”

Pressed on whether Burns was fully fit for the replay, McCorry said: “The thing about it is when you keep asking questions, we’re moving forward as a county and looking forward to the next game.

“We’ve just beaten Monaghan in their own back yard and we’re talking about games that happened a few weeks back. Let’s focus on a great result today and the next round of the qualifiers, see who we get on Monday. That’s important to us.”

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