Meet the 8-year-old playing GAA after losing legs and fingers in his right hand

By Steve Neville

Conall Harvey may be the most inspiring eight-year-old you ever meet with a football.

Playing with the Delco Gaels in Delaware, he lined out at the CYC in Boston.

But the thing that makes Conall stand out, is that he has no legs, and no fingers on his right hand. But that doesn't stop him.

Conall was diagnosed with leukaemia via septic shock in 2015 and for his life to be saved he had to lose the limbs.

The optimistic eight-year-old and his mother Christin chatted with Jerome Quinn about his incredible journey.

Conall says the only things he does is make sure the screws are alined on his artificial legs and he's good to go.

"I just hold it. Squeeze it together," says Conall when asked he holds the ball without fingers on one hand.

"One of the luckiest things about me is they didn't do this [remove the fingers] from my left hand because I was always a lefty.

"He's just part of the team. They throw him right in there," said Ms Harvey.

"He might not catch up with the other children but he tries and he thinks he does which is the best part and he loves just coming to the game, coming to practice.

"He feels like he's just a normal eight-year-old with this team."

"They [Conall's teammates] just automatically think of him, which is not a second thought to them.

"They do look out for him. They all do."

Ms Harvey said that the affection and support shown to her son within the GAA family has been incredible.

"It's huge for any sport, but for this sport in particular, for Gaelic football/hurling/camogie that they don't think twice about it [Conall's disability].

"It's literally about the team. And with all the children, all the age groups from U6 to U18, that they're a family and they honestly do look after each other and like looking after each other's games.

"I think that this is very unique, Gaelic football. You don't see this in American sports at all - the friendship and the camaraderie."

"He's a great kid," said coach Liam Moore.

"He had a real fight on his hands there for a couple of years or more there and I hope he's won it every day."

"I've never seen nothing like it [before, on a football pitch]," said fellow coach Anthony Moore.

"I've never seen anybody with the spirit that he has. The attitude and positivity in [Conall] is just unreal.

"He's just a bundle of joy. It's really great to see him out there playing Gaelic football.

"It's an inspiration to everybody."

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