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Drug Addiction

'An opponent taunted me about his overdose' - Dublin footballer Philly McMahon on his brother's death

“It’s OK to come out and say that I’m not embarrassed.”

philly3 RTÉ RTÉ

LAST NIGHT’S LATE Late Show on RTÉ One featured an eclectic line-up of Brendan O’Carroll, Fr Joe McDonald, Nathan Carter and the decision on who Ireland are going to send to World Karaoke Championships.

But the standout moment of the night for many was when Dublin football star Philly McMahon spoke about the loss of his brother John after he was introduced to heroin at the age of 14.

“For other people that have a family member that is an addict – it’s OK to come out and say that I’m not embarrassed. I shouldn’t be embarrassed of somebody making the wrong choice”

The Late Late Show / YouTube

Philly spoke about his own childhood growing up, being aware and ashamed of what he perceived to be a “dirty secret”:

“I would love to have seen a Dublin footballer coming out when I was growing up and saying ‘you know what, it’s only a bad decision that your family member has made. Don’t be embarrassed about it’”

philly4 RTÉ RTÉ

“I felt that it was something that people had over me. If I got into a row with somebody or had an argument with somebody that would say ‘your brother’s a junkie’ I felt that someone always had something over me”

philly5 RTÉ RTÉ

He went on to discuss his own embarrassment the first time he spoke publicly about John, but feels it’s an important thing to do:

There are so many young people out there now who are feeling the same way. And the more people that we get with profiles to speak about it the better.

McMahon revealed that he was sledged about John by an opponent on the field:

“I was marking a guy and he felt that saying my brother overdosed from drugs and was a junkie would affect my game. Ultimately it empowered me, and I played a very good game that day”

philly6 RTÉ RTÉ

When he spoke about how young his brother was introduced to heroin, it was another brutally honest portion of the interview

The Late Late Show / YouTube

The footballer has been winning nothing but praise on social media for speaking so openly about a sensitive topic

From where he started on the topic, speaking about it to a national audience on The Late Late Show is an amazing leap

McMahon’s book , The Choice, written with’s Deputy Editor Niall Kelly, is out now. 

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Written by David Elkin and posted on

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