herald

Wednesday 22 November 2017

McConville airs his support for McNamee

FORMER gambling addict Oisín McConville has praised Offaly forward, Niall McNamee, for making public his startling revelations about his own betting demons.

McNamee yesterday revealed that gambling had cost him an estimated €200,000 over the years and left him with outstanding debts of around €80,000.

McConville, who himself faced debts of €115, 000 when his autobiography ‘The Gambler’ was published five years ago, now works as an addiction councillor and believes that McNamee can now begin to get his life back on track.

“I think it’s a very ballsy thing to do what he has done,” McConville said. “It takes a lot of guts. Niall NcNamee’s life is going to get better from the day he went into recovery, from the day he told his family.

“I have dealt with a lot of sports people in a similar position over the last four or five years, who want to remain anonymous and I understand that 100 per cent.

"I just think if we bring out more awareness, Niall’s bravery and the fact he’s so well known and a hero to so many people in Offaly and further afield will help so many people.”

McConville also revealed that public reception to his own admissions was not universally positive but insisted McNamee can expect support from around the country due to his profile.

“Initial reaction was a little bit mixed but in the months afterwards the number of phone calls, post, emails, gives you strength to go on. And I think that’s what Niall will find, that a lot of people have a lot of admiration for him.

"Any negativity that’s out there will be more faceless, internet sites and different things like that.

“It’ll help so many people in that a lot of people will have seen Niall NcNamee and looked up to him and will think maybe we can do it and it will maybe make them realise they have a problem as well. Tongues will wag and people will come to their own conclusions. I think it’s a good thing he’s done this.”

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