Recently retired Mayo footballer Alan Dillon has opened up about his experience with head injuries, including an incident in a county final when his vision was temporarily impaired after a clash with an opponent.

Leinster's Johnny Sexton and Ross Byrne were both withdrawn for a HIA (Head Injury Assessment) during their Champions Cup fixture against Exeter Chiefs. Byrne returned to the pitch, while Sexton was kept off.

The incidents provoked a wider discussion about concussion and sports related head trauma on the panel on RTÉ's Saturday Sport.

Two-time All-Star Dillon was joined by Mark McNulty of Cork City and the rowing duo of Shane O'Driscoll and Mark O'Donovan on the panel, and the Ballintubber forward spoke about his history of head injuries during his career.

"When you play on the edge, you're putting your head in where actually you shouldn't," said the 35-year-old.

"Unfortunately, I've seen stars on a number of occasions and probably had to put my hand up and look for rescue on the sideline.

I could see the goalposts but I couldn't actually see where I was dropping the ball.

"I remember in a county final against Ballaghaderreen in 2012, I got a bad knock against, I think it was James Kilcullen, who was like an unmovable object in all fairness. 

"I went up to take the next free, I'll never forget it. I could see the goalposts but I couldn't actually see where I was dropping the ball. I waved the white flag then and unfortunately, we got beaten on the day.

"Your threshold then over the next number of years, there were very subtle changes in terms of the significant hits that I was receiving. You'd be dazed for a couple of minutes."

Dillon, who announced his retirement from inter-county football last month after making 66 championship appearances since 2003, added that Gaelic footballers are becoming stronger all the time.

"You see now that players are getting bigger and stronger. You've got to move out of the way at some stages when some lads are coming through.

"The art of tackling has gone to another level as well."