| 13.1°C Belfast

Declan Lynch: Being forced apart by coronavirus pandemic has made me appreciate my partner Áine even more



Declan Lynch

Declan Lynch

�INPHO/Declan Roughan

Declan Lynch with fiance Aine Tubridy

Declan Lynch with fiance Aine Tubridy

Declan Lynch

We are asking our sporting personalities how they are dealing with action coming to a halt because of the coronavirus pandemic and how it has affected their daily lives.

Today, we speak to Antrim football captain Declan Lynch.

Q: How are you keeping?

A: I had mild symptoms of coronavirus a few weeks ago but thank God I feel much better now. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have overcome the illness - it goes to show that you can take nothing for granted. I look after myself but in the current circumstances anything can happen.

Q: How have you been affected?

A: I am working from home and I am certainly kept busy. I was just glad to get back into the swing of things following my illness but fortunately there have been no lingering effects and I am now very focused on the future.

Q: How are you keeping fit?

A: Like a lot of other inter-county players, I am training away on my own and I am getting back up to full throttle again. Obviously we have our fitness schedules provided by the Antrim management team so we know what we have to do. I do my weights and gym work and balance this with outdoor work on the track. I want to be as fit as possible for the anticipated return to action.

Q: How are you maintaining morale, yours and the team?

A: There is a great bond within the current Antrim squad and because of this we are always keen to maintain contact with each other. I think everyone is anxious to get back playing again but in the meantime we can help to keep each other pepped up. I think it's very important to adhere to a positive stance and try and take each day as it comes.

Q: Where are you drawing your personal strength from now?

A: We hear the word 'heroes' bandied about a lot at the minute and you could be forgiven for thinking it is a cliché. But I believe the health service personnel are doing a magnificent job, uncomplainingly, in difficult circumstances. They are putting their lives at risk in order to help the rest of us and I can't speak highly enough about them. If their efforts would not give personal strength and comfort, then nothing would.

Q: Can you recommend a book, film or box set you think stay at home sports fans might enjoy?

A: I think that the autobiography of Ireland rugby international Stephen Ferris, 'Man and ball', is a great read as it affords a tremendous insight into top level rugby. The 'Legacy' book on the All Blacks rugby team is also fascinating. I think the box-set 'Suits' is highly entertaining while I think that any Harry Potter film would always be compulsive viewing - I for one love the whole series.

Q: What life lessons are you learning from this?

A: I think that I have come to appreciate more the roles that those close to me fulfil in my life. My partner Áine and I are in the process of buying a house - even though we are together apart at the moment, if you get my drift - and I have discovered the benefits of remaining positive.


Declan Lynch with fiance Aine Tubridy

Declan Lynch with fiance Aine Tubridy

Declan Lynch with fiance Aine Tubridy


I have also come to appreciate our relationship more because of this. If you become negative in the current situation that can be very discomforting but if you can remain upbeat and ticking then you can achieve much more. This has certainly been a good life lesson for me.

There are a lot of people who don't know if they will return to full health or indeed if they will have a job to go back to and that is scary. This puts things into perspective for us all and underlines that there are much bigger problems out there in the wider society than the playing of sport.

Q: What is the first thing you will do when all this is over?

A: The first thing I will do is link up with Áine and my young nephew Lorcan. It will be brilliant to see them as they are both very important to me as are the other members of my family.

Q: And your message to Antrim fans?

A: We have two outstanding National League games against Wicklow and Waterford which we sincerely hope will be played so that we might make it up into Division Three and I would urge fans to get behind us should these ties take place. We would be very keen to have everyone on board because we feel we are capable of making the big step up. We know it would mean a lot to our fans if we were to achieve this - we would not relish another season in Division Four to tell you the truth.

Belfast Telegraph