Friday 21 October 2016

'I haven't seen her in four years': Tyrone star reveals how gambling hell saw him lose contact with his daughter

Published 15/10/2016 | 09:40

Cathal McCarron has revealed how his crippling gambling addiction destroyed his relationship with his daughter.

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In a wide-ranging and brutally honest interview with The Irish News, the Tyrone defender spoke about how he resorted to appearing in a gay porn video to fund his habit after fleeing to London following an alleged IRA threat over his gambling.

Read more: 'I felt physically sick': Tyrone star reveals how he ended up in gay porn video to feed his gambling addiction

McCarron has since got help and recovered sufficiently to rejoin the Tyrone football team, earning an All Star nomination for this season.

However, his chronic betting has done considerable damage to his personal relationships, with McCarron telling journalist Brendan Hughes that he hasn't seen his seven-year-old daughter in four years and that she calls him 'Cathal'.

"That used to sting me. I would have liked her to call me daddy," he told the paper.

"I was more like a close friend who called to see her every so often. That wasn't enough for her to consider me her daddy. It was a name that meant nothing to her.

"My daughter will be eight in November. I haven't seen her in four years. I cannot even remember the last time I saw her. The saddest thing of all is that she could walk past me in the street and I wouldn't recognise her.

"I wasn't there for my daughter's birth. I don't even know where I was, probably in some dark and drab corner of a betting office."

McCarron's autobiography, Out of Control, will be released at the end of this month, and is one of the most eagerly anticipated GAA books ever.

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