Richie Power on Laochra Gael. John Foley Images

'I hadn't made my own family aware' - Power on opening up publicly about gambling addiction

The eight-time All-Ireland winner says he didn’t tell his family before speaking about his addiction on a podcast in 2022.

RICHIE POWER BELIEVES he mismanaged the process of opening up about his struggles with gambling addiction, admitting that he had not informed his family before speaking publicly.

Power, who will feature in the first episode of the new Laochra Gael season this week, first discussed his history with addiction on BBC’s GAA Social podcast in 2022. The eight-time All-Ireland winner with Kilkenny was speaking to Oisín McConville on the podcast having previously met the former Armagh footballer – who also suffered from compulsive gambling — in 2013.

“From my perspective,” Power said this week, “it was probably managed wrong because I hadn’t made my own family aware that it was going to go live and social media can get things out there quite quickly. I would have gotten a phone call from my brother Jamie and things like that.

“I didn’t know what way it was gong to be received but I suppose from my own perspective, driving back down the road, your mind turns to think that if you can help one person, then it’s worth doing. That’s what I spoke about with Oisín in the days prior to it as well. It turned out fine and the response from it was quite positive.”

Power explores this chapter of his life in his Laochra Gael programme, as well as in his recently published book, ‘Power: A Family Memoir.’ The former Carrickshock forward says readers of the book who are encountering similar problems have reached out to him for advice, which has reinforced his belief that this was a worthwhile project.

Power was forced to retire from Kilkenny at the start of 2016 due to a persistent knee injury which had impacted his career since he was a teenager. He says that his family worried at the time that perhaps the abrupt end of his inter-county career might trigger a relapse with his addiction problems.

“It was difficult because injury would have been a big trigger for me when I was playing. It was just about putting everything in place and the meetings were a huge thing. My family at home were aware that it could have been something that triggered it again. They were probably keeping on top of it as well. It’s never easy.

“I said it in the show that the first five or six months after retirement were really hard because reality only hits then that this is the way it’s going to be going forward.”

Richie Power’s Laochra Gael will be aired on TG4 this Thursday at 9.30pm

If you need help with gambling addiction, get in touch with Gamblers Anonymous via one of their regional contacts, Problem Gambling Ireland on 089 241 5401.

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