Sunday 25 February 2018

'30 years of pain and suffering led me to the end of Dun Laoghaire pier' - George Hook on business failure and depression

George Hook on Wednesday night's Cutting Edge
George Hook on Wednesday night's Cutting Edge

Sasha Brady

George Hook spoke openly about his lowest point in life following the failure of his business venture on Wednesday night's Cutting Edge.

Following on from a segment in which Jackie Lavin made an impassioned plea for the government to support small and medium businesses - especially those who went bust during the recession - Hook spoke about his own failed ventures.

Before finding success as a rugby coach and pundit, Hook launched his own catering business but it failed and he ended up in debt.

"I went into a business I knew nothing about," he told the studio audience, explaining that he didn't have the distinctive skill-set for the job.

"I went into the catering business and I couldn't boil an egg. I was employing 1500 people."

During his lowest point, and under the pressure of mounting debt, he considered taking his own life.

"It was 30 years of pain and suffering which lead me to the end of Dun Laoghaire pier, taking my clothes off ready to take a dive in. [I] spent a night in the cells of the Gardai Siochana of Hartcourt Street. All because I didn't know what I was doing."

When host Brendan O'Connor asked him what brought him back from the edge of the pier, the former rugby pundit replied: "I have no idea. I really haven't".

He added: "There was no descent of the Holy Ghost or 'I love my wife' or I saw my children's faces. I have no idea. I think - being honest with you and I'm not trying to get a laugh - I think it was because I thought the water was going to be very cold.

"You have no idea why you won't do something like that. But I actually remember thinking it was going to be bloody cold. I'm in my underwear, you know."

Hook was a panelist on Brendan O'Connor's Cutting Edge alongside writer and broadcaster, Emma Dabiri, and columnist, Fiona Looney.

 If you have been affected by any issues raised in this article, please contact The Samaritans free helpline on 116 123.

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