Cora Staunton eloquently explains how sport helped her deal with grief

Mayo star was speaking to Joe about her own experience

BY Raf Diallo 20:31 Tuesday 19 September 2017, 20:31 19 Sep 2017

Last Wednesday, former Dublin footballer Alan Brogan and Mayo star Cora Staunton joined us for a Facebook Live chat as part of the Sports Safe campaign.

During that chat, Staunton, who has won four All Ireland Ladies football titles - not to mention the numerous club titles - and multiple All Stars with Mayo down through the years since joining the senior panel at the age of just 13, answered a question from a viewer, explaining that one thing she does on the morning of every match is to visit her mother's grave.

You can listen to the full interview on the podcast player or stream/download on iTunes: 

Afterwards, she sat down with Joe for an in-depth chat about her career, season and also touched on how sport played a crucial role in dealing with grief and on a personal societal level.

"My Mum died when I was 16 so it will be 18 years since her passing in July. So obviously it's a difficult time and it's probably well documented a time where maybe I would have gave up sport and gave up football for a couple of months following her death," she told Joe.

Mayo's Cora Staunton in 2016 ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

"I got quite angry after it. I was angry at sport because I was away from home a lot because I was playing so much sport. I was playing so much. I was gone to football every evening, so you wouldn't be home as much. I suppose you're dealing with grief and you're angry."

But it was sport and especially team-mates that prove to be a key factor in coming to terms with grief as she detailed.

"These people used to call to my house and eventually drag me to football," she said of her team-mates and coaches at the time.

"Like, I wouldn't go and then I'd go and just stand and not have any interest in watching matches. But eventually I got the interest back again but it was only because they were there and brought me back. It's a difficult period in anyone's life, no matter what age you are." 

She continued: "At the end of the day, I owe sport so much because you can go down many paths in life and I was lucky that I had sport. Maybe going down a wrong path at that stage, I had sport to put me back on it and drag me down the right path once again and the right people."

Staunton also added that sports is also a key component in the make-up of her social circle and close friendships.

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