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Dublin: 14 °C Monday 25 May, 2020

'I was a compulsive liar. I was a thief. I was doing whatever I could to con people'

Davy Glennon said his mother remortgaged the family home to repay his gambling debts.

Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

GALWAY HURLER DAVY Glennon has opened up on his recovery from a chronic gambling addiction that drove him to steal tens of thousands of euro from his employers and led to his mother remortgaging the family home to repay his debts.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke programme the Mullagh star sketched a brief history of his gambling obsession, which began with him betting his lunch money during school and ended with him losing huge sums on soccer matches involving teams he had never heard of.

Glennon said he was an habitual gambler for eight years and his house of cards eventually tumbled down when his employer, alcohol distributor J&C Kenny, discovered the Galway sharpshooter had used fake accounts to steal money from the company. The family run business was nearly forced to close due to the losses.

He outlined that working for the wine and spirits distributor was his dream job and the fact that he threw it away because of his addiction makes him feel sick.

“When I was working I was able to set up fake accounts,” he explained.

I was a compulsive liar and I was, obviously, a thief and I was doing everything I could to con people to try and get the cash for me to gamble… I had no conscience. I didn’t care. I had no respect for myself I had no respect for anybody.

When his deceit was exposed he said his overwhelming emotion was a huge sense of relief that he no longer had to continue telling countless lies to cover his tracks.

Throughout his darkest times hurling provided an outlet for him to escape from the turmoil of his daily life but when he left the dressing room and headed for his car ‘gambling Davy’ always returned.

‘Mystery donor’

After he emerged from Cuan Mhuire, a treatment centre for addiction, in 2015 Glennon was still heavily indebted to J&C Kenny. Earlier this month Galway Circuit Criminal Court heard that a mystery donor had repaid €70,000 to the company and the victims on the hurler’s behalf.

Glennon was handed 240 hours community service in lieu of seven concurrent two-year prison sentences after pleading guilty to seven sample charges of theft from the wholesale wine and spirits distributor.

Speaking to O’Rourke Glennon explained that his mother was the mystery donor and she had remortgaged the family home to settle the bill.

“My parents always said that they never owed anyone any money and I’m going to be the same,” he said.

The All Ireland winner is now working in a gym in Loughrea and repaying his mother every week. Each payment represents another step on his journey of recovery, but despite his best efforts he knows he has a long road to travel to repair the damage he has done to his family.

My parents, obviously, still don’t have the full 100% trust in me, (they) never will because of what I’ve done. But they’re building trust back in me and they knew that if I was doing good, and I was doing good for myself, that a little hand along the way, to get myself up and running again, and get me started to make amends for what I’ve done.

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Ceimin Burke

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