Gambling Care GAA Ad TG4

This weekend we are excited to launch our new Awareness Raising Ad Campaign with TG4 which features a powerful exchange between three GAA legends, Armagh & Crossmaglen Footballer Oisin McConville, Kilkenny Hurler Ritchie Power, and Tyrone Footballer Con Kilpatrick.

The ad opens with a clever boasting from the lads about their achievements in the GAA from All Irelands to All Stars to finally gambling addiction, something they all share. It’s poignant to see these young men who at various stages reached the pinnacle of GAA success winning the dream All Ireland and more besides, divulge something they also have in common – a gambling addiction.

The idea for the ad originated from a flurry of enquiries from people struggling with their gambling after Paul Merson appeared on the Tommy Tiernan show where he openly talked about his gambling addiction and the huge impact it had on his life, his career, his family, and his relationships. We received some heartbreaking messages from people who felt Merson’s story resonated with them, people who felt they just couldn’t continue lying to the people they cared about and couldn’t cope with the feelings of shame and desperation about their situation.

It was clear that the lived experience of someone describing the feelings and struggles associated with problem gambling touched people at a level that made them want to seek help. With this in mind, we reached out to Oisin McConville, a GAA legend who has spoken openly about his gambling addiction for many years and who has supported countless people to get the help they need through providing interventions, support and advice. Oisin couldn’t have been any more enthusiastic about getting a powerful message out that help is available and offered to think about how we could collaborate on that message effectively. What you are seeing today is the result of that collaboration, three men known the length and breath of the country coming together to assure people that you can recover, that there is life after a gambling addiction and that help is available to anyone who needs it, they just have to take the first step.

We couldn’t be more grateful to Oisin, Ritchie and Con for getting involved in this campaign. It’s not easy to put yourself out in the public sphere and share so openly about an addiction that had such an impact on your life but having had that first-hand experience, the lads unequivocally wanted to get behind a campaign that has the potential to reach the thousands of people out there currently struggling to take control of their gambling.

The hope for this ad is that it will generate conversation around gambling and the potential harm it can do when it gets out of control. Talking about an issue reduces the stigma surrounding it and encourages people to think about the problem, express their views, ask questions and most importantly – reach out for help. No matter where you are in the country, please know there is help available for you, take that step and make that call.

Go to our web page that lists each service by county or call the national Helpline 1800 935 726, lines open daily from 9.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m.

National Helpline for Gambling Addiction Support in Ireland

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