Belfast Telegraph

Irish TDs sound out the parents of tragic rugby teen

By Michael Staines

The parents of a young boy who died from a brain injury suffered while playing schools rugby could be invited to give evidence to an Irish government health committee investigating concussion in sports.

Benjamin Robinson (14) was treated for concussion after taking a number of heavy hits playing for Carrickfergus Grammar against Dalriada in 2011. After returning to the field, he collapsed and later died in hospital.

The committee chairman Jerry Buttimer TD said it is a “definite possibility” that families of those affected will be asked for input.

Benjamin's father Peter told RTE radio yesterday: “People say time is a healer but I don't agree with that. It just adds to the pain because you realise no, this is real, he is gone.”

Both he and Ben’s mother, Karen Walton, were critical of the IRFU and the attitudes towards concussion within the sport.

“There is still that old schoolboy mentality of ‘suck it up and get on with it',” said Ms Walton. “That is wrong. With a child, if you suspect concussion, you get that child off and don't return him to the match.”

The IRFU said it is committed to an ongoing education campaign on the dangers of concussion.

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