Two members of the Valley Rovers club in Cork have created specially adapted visors that can be placed inside helmets to protect hurlers as GAA action slowing returns following the COVID-19 lockdown.
Derek Sheehan and Fergus Twohig developed the concept last month to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among their underage groups but the idea soon caught fire with the GAA giving it their backing.
Now the duo are receiving orders from all around Ireland and further afield with over 2,000 requests made for the HurlSafe visors.
“Both of us are involved in coaching and working with kids and we have children playing and we were asking each other what we were going to do”, Sheehan told EchoLive.
“I was after doing a lot of security for offices and I was wondering if there might be some shield that could be put inside helmets to stop the spread of the virus or to prevent it being contracted.
“After that, it just spiralled. I had massive help from a local lad, Damien O’Brien of Sign Spec. I went to him with the idea and he fitted it up to see if it would work inside a helmet.”
Sheehan explained that the material is designed so that visibility is not affected but the mouth and nose are completely protected.
“We did a lot of research to make sure we had something that was shatter-proof – it’s made from polycarbonate – and there’s anti-fog material as well, but it is pretty close to you so it will steam up to some degree.
“It doesn’t go above the eyes, so visibility isn’t affected, but it covers the nose and the mouth.
“I went to the GAA with our first prototype and they thought it was terrific.
“I got a response within a few hours of them getting it, they wanted more information. We did a lot of work to make sure it was ultra-safe, with no sharp edges or corners and it’s cable-tied to the inside of the guards.
“We’re after getting an order from a club in Reading in England for a couple of hundred.”
The visors are designed to reduce the spread of respiratory droplets and are manufactured from Emblem Polyester Protection Film A 400, which is used in medical face visors.