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Galway Hurler Davy Glennon Tells Powerful Story Of Gambling Addiction On RTÉ

Galway Hurler Davy Glennon Tells Powerful Story Of Gambling Addiction On RTÉ

It's over six months on since Davy Glennon first told of his gambling addiction in a powerful interview with the Irish Examiner's John Fogarty.

The Galway hurler appeared on RTÉ's Claire Byrne Live on Monday night to further speak about his gambling troubles while also issuing a plea to the government to introduce laws regulating the betting industry.

Glennon made a short film explaining what he went though and how he came out the other end.

I started gambling with I was 16 years of age. It started off with the €2 to the €3 bet.

As I got into the rut of gambling, I suppose bigger and bigger my bets got. The more I wanted to be in the bookies. The more I thought it was cool to be in a bookies. The more I had a few wins. The more I wanted to be there.

Everything personal to me was going, I was selling stuff. I just wasn't able to stop, I suppose.

I got loans from credit unions, I got loans from banks, I sold my car.

From there on, it was just years and years of pain. My life was turned into a gambling rut and I couldn't get out.

One moment which Glennon highlighted happened during the 2015 Cheltenham Festival where he needed Annie Power to win the Mares' Hurdle for a return off €58,000. The horse would fall at the last.

Just looking back on a moment that stands out most for me in my gambling career was a time where I had a four-timer done. I had €2,000 on it. It was in the Cheltenham Mares' Hurdle in 2015 where Annie Power was odds on favourite. I stood to win €58,000 and my three horses had come up, I was waiting for her.

While this was going on, Glennon was also playing senior inter-county hurling for Galway. He started the 2015 Leinster final but due to issues in his life, largely created by his gambling problems, Glennon's head was not in the game. He was substituted after 24 minutes.

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There were so many lows. I was feeling lonely, isolated. I couldn't tell anyone. Who could you tell that you're losing this amount of money? I isolated myself from my friends. I didn't tell them what I was doing, I was lying all the time. I became a compulsive liar. It came to a stage where I was at breaking point.

I got the nod to start at corner forward in the Leinster final 2015. I was delighted, I suppose. In the back of my mind I wasn't prepared properly for that match because there was so much going on in my life. I was taken off after 24 minutes in that Leinster final in Croke Park, if there was a hole in the ground in Croke Park, I'd have loved if it had swallowed me up. I was just totally distraught after everything. Hurling had covered over the cracks to an extent. It had kept me going but everything had ended.

Days later, Glennon found himself at breaking point. He had a nervous breakdown and told his mother that something needed to be done before he harmed himself.

It [gambling] had taken my talent along with everything else. It was only a matter of time before it was going to take my life. Obviously, those thoughts were in my head.

It was two or three days later where I was a breaking point. Basically, what am I going to do? I had a nervous breakdown on a Thursday. I just needed to do something, I suppose. I just cried out for help, I told my mother that I needed to do something. I needed to do something now because I was going to do something that I'd be sorry for.

Glennon signed himself into the Cuan Mhuire Treatment Centre for three months.

My mother brought me down. I felt lonely, sacred but once I entered these gates I kind of felt a bit of security and safety to my life.

When I did enter these doors I was thinking 'Am I as bad as these? No I'm not. I couldn't be as bad as these people shaking from drink but I was actually worse. I had a disease that was so hidden, I hid my disease for eight years.

You can watch Davy Glennon tell his story on Claire Byrne Live below.

Listen: Michael Duignan And Marty Morrissey Captured The Magic Of Ballyea's Munster Win On RTE

PJ Browne
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