Monday 23 April 2018

Twitter reacts to Davy Glennon's courageous interview on his gambling addiction

Davy Glennon
Davy Glennon Newsdesk

Davy Glennon's brutally honest account of his battle with his gambling addiction has got the world of GAA talking today.

Over the past number of years, the problem of inter-county stars becoming embroiled in betting has been highlighted by the likes of Oisin McConville and Niall McNamee.

Both have now become strong voices in the battle against the addiction and Galway hurler Davy Glennon has joined the cause.

In a thought-provoking interview with the Irish Examiner, Glennon describes how he struggled to fund his habit and how it had an adverse affect on his character.

Like many punters, Glennon was waiting on a lucrative accumulator when Annie Power lined up for the mare's hurdle at Cheltenham in 2015 but saw his chances of making €58k evaporate as Willie Mullins' crashed out at the last with the race at her mercy.

In the week before the festival, Glennon had gambled away €10k in just three days.

“I got a loan out from a credit union on a Wednesday. I had a loan from them previously going back years. It was direct debit and then I got a phonecall to say my loan was nearly finished and that my finances with them were good and that anytime again if you wanted a loan we were there to help.

“This was on a Monday. I said to myself: ‘What? More ammunition?’ At the back of my head: I said, ‘No, I can’t? I’m going to gamble this. What did I want the money for?’

“I said to the credit union it was for a car. So I went into them of a Wednesday and I said, ‘I’m looking for a loan’. They said, ‘How much are you looking for?’ And I was thinking €5,000 but then I got greedy and said €10,000. ‘Would you like the money in a cheque or in cash?’ they asked. I said: “Cash.”

“I couldn’t believe my eyes, being given this handy money. So I took the €10,000 out of a Wednesday and by the Friday the money was gone.”

He describes how his diet disappeared and how he spent up to eight hours a day in the bookmakers.

Glennon's problems came to a head following the Leinster final defeat to Kilkenny last year after a heavy week of gambling had left him broke, and having been subbed after 27 minutes, he found himself contemplating suicide when home alone that night.

A chance text from his younger brother Ronan altered his plans and the following Thursday he broke down and admitted everything to his mother.

“She knew, but they couldn’t do anything when I wasn’t prepared to do anything for myself. I was going against the grain at home at all times. I said I have to go to Cuan Mhuire.”

He began a 12-week programme to take back his life and with the help of his counsellor, team mates and the GPA, he has returned to the Galway panel and has the upper hand over his demons.

His story has inspired a strong response on social media:

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