'Do we take the fish out, or c...

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'Do we take the fish out, or clean the water in the tank?' | Diarmuid Lyng on COVID-19

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

10:37 30 Mar 2020


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Former Wexford hurler Diarmuid Lyng joined us on OTB AM this morning, as we discussed life in Ireland in these unprecedented times.

Lyng has been living a more self-sufficient life than many of us, living off land down in Kerry in recent times, and as such is in a unique position to discuss the current lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

"People have been forced to stay at home, forced to stop working, forced to observe types of life. Ronan O'Gara was talking about using this time to have a look at what he's doing and see if it's something... how acceptable or desirable it is to him.

"I think a lot of people are in the same situation. I think it's just [about] responding to life, life forced me down this road in a way, and I see it's the most perfect road for me.

"This is a country where we look after people and I think this [the coronavirus] will make us see how interconnected we are, and how much compassion exists in Irish society.

Lyng also added that the current global pandemic may force us to look closer at health in society overall more urgently.

"Obviously there are experts out there who know about disease, and health, and proteins, which is what COVID-19 is.

"When it comes to something like ash dieback and in the case of the ash tree, what we tend to do to beat the ash dieback disease is how do we treat it, how do we kill it, how do we poison it? How do we win the war against it?

"We don't plant say 100 ash trees - we plant, say, 20 oak, 20 birch, 20 willow, and 40 ash trees, and those 40 ash trees are going to be an awful lot healthier than the 100 you'd have planted.

"I read a lovely quote... [there's] a fish in the tank, and a disease has gotten the fish, do we take out and isolate the fish, or do we clean the water in the tank?

"We need to maybe start observing our overall societal health... things like the spraying of toxins on our food, a lot of stuff I've talked about already.

"If our focus was less on the war on disease, and more on what is the health of our society, the health of our most vulnerable? Are we prolonging life on drugs, or can we change the water in the tank?"

18 February 2020; The definitive GAA sports series Laochra Gael returns to TG4 this spring for an 18th series. The series features six Laochra with genuine star quality and reveals deeper, fresh and sometimes unexpected insights into the lives of these icons. While their sporting careers continue to provide the backdrop to the story, the series travels well beyond the four white lines. This season features, Kieran Donaghy, Diarmuid Lyng, Alan Brogan, Iggy Clarke, David Brady and Brendan McAnespie and starts on the 5th Match 2020 at 9.30pm. In attendance at the launch of TG4's new series of Laochra Gael at Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield, Dublin is Diarmuid Lyng of Wexford. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Diarmuid also told us about managing your mental health, and trying to focus on the positive aspects of your own personality in order to feel more at one with yourself.

"I am in the middle of moving... we're making a few trips back west and setting up shop back there. This all came from me by following deeper instincts.

"I spent a few years not really knowing where money was going to come from, or not knowing if I could make rent or if I would have enough to provide for my family.

"The more that tension came up in me, I felt the more a block I was creating in going to find work and enjoy the work I did manage to find.

"I had to really sit with that for a while and allow that feeling and tension, to examine and bring it up to the surface and [then] let it fade away.

"Is it that I feel I'm not good enough? Or I'm not capable? Or my talents are useless? Or whatever it is... I had to really examine those feelings and let them fall away.

"I found that once I could do that... once I cleared those things out, I felt like I was opening the way for more work to come in."


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