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Oisín McConville Opens Up On “Moral Dilemma” Playing With Gambling Sponsorship On Jersey

AIB GAA Football All Ireland Senior Club Championship 17/3/2011 Crossmaglen Rangers Oisin McConville celebrates Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Last weekend, the GAA Congress voted overwhelmingly in favour of banning sponsorship from gambling companies. This was well received, after several high profile players in recent years opened up about their gambling addictions, including Oisín McConville.

The former Armagh star has candidly talked about his struggles on numerous occasions, and today was giving his thoughts to Sunday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1 about the news from Congress last week.

McConville revealed how his club, Crossmaglen Rangers, were sponsored by a bookmaker, and this threw him into an extremely awkward situation.

“It just wasn’t ideal. I was after coming out of treatment. I was after penning a book on my gambling addiction. Almost immediately after that, we were sponsored by a bookmakers.

“Again it’s ironic that it affects my club. Every time I went out with that badge on my chest, it was a very awkward situation for me to put it mildly.

“It was a real moral question for me – do I pull this jersey on or do I walk away from football?”

AIB Ulster Club Senior Football Championship Quarter Final Crossmaglen 31/10/2010 Crossmaglen (Armagh) vs St Gall's (Antrim) Crossmaglen's Oisin McConville and St.Galls' Colin Brady Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Presseye/Russell Pritchard

However, McConville stressed the importance of football in his life, and how the sport helped him in his darkest moments, and he continued to play as a result.

“When I was at the height of my addiction, football was the only thing that saved my life at that time.”

The news that gambling partnerships are now banned in the GAA has been well received, as the Association became one of the first sporting bodies in Ireland to make such a move.

You can listen to the excellent interview with RTÉ in full here.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.