Interview: Oisin McConville on overcoming gambling addiction, spotting symptoms and the GPA

IT’S 2003, a year after Oisin McConville scored the winning goal against Kerry in an All-Ireland final, and the Crossmaglen man finds himself in Luton, just north of London, for a routine operation on his back.

With a pocket full of cash from the Armagh County Board to cover his expenses, McConville passes a bookmakers on his taxi route back from the hospital towards his hotel.

‘Sure I might wander in,’ he says to himself, ‘no one knows me here’. He asks the driver to pull over, that there’s been a change of plan. In he walks with £400 cash, £15 of which he sets aside in his back pocket.

With £385 to play with, deep down, McConville knows he’s walking back to his hotel broke, with the £15 reserved for that following morning’s taxi back to Luton airport. Except it didn’t last, he couldn’t resist one last gamble, and so he trudged back with nothing to show for his efforts.

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