Oisin to address major conference on addiction

June 2, 2009

One of the country’s most gifted sports stars is to speak about his experience of addiction at a forthcoming major conference in Newry.

The event, entitled Addiction and the Ongoing Road to Recovery, is being organised as part of the 25th Anniversary celebrations of Newry’s Cuan Mhuire Centre.

Crossmaglen Rangers and Armagh county star forward, Oisin McConville, will take to the platform to speak about his battle with a gambling addiction and how his life had “been eaten up” by the problem.

Described as one of the most gifted footballers of a generation, in September 2007 the Crossmaglen man revealed to the nation that he was a gambling addict.

Oisin’s very public revelations were documented in his acclaimed autobiography ‘The Gambler’.  Through the pages of this highly-rated book he encouraged many people struggling with gambling and other addictions, to step forward and seek help.

This important conference will take place in the Canal Court Hotel in Newry on Friday June 26th and is part of a weekend of activities to mark the significant milestone in the history of the Cuan Mhuire Centre.

Among other guests at the event, Oisin will share a platform with Sister Consilio, the founder of Cuan Mhuire and John Lonergan,  Governor of Mountjoy Prison.

Sr Consilio, through Cuan Mhuire, has been one of the leading providers of care and support for addicts throughout Ireland.

Mr Lonergan has consistently argued that there is a direct link between crime and social and economic deprivation.  He believes that the task for all is the creation of a just, inclusive and cohesive society based on the core values of justice, equality, fairness and compassion. 

 Speaking at the launch of the conference details, Oisin said that the event would not only highlight the very real issues relating to addiction, but would also, in a practical and appropriate manner, clearly show that recovery for the addict, their loved ones and society in general is possible. 

“Addictions and the problems associated with them are all too well documented, however, we must ensure that there is a clear message and understanding to all that recovery from addiction is possible,” Oisin said.  “On a daily basis, people are dealing with their addictions and getting on with their lives. Cuan Mhuire has played a key part in many people’s lives, including my own, in helping heal what was broken and supporting and guiding us in our recovery. 

“I am delighted to be taking part in the Conference,” he added.

Emanating from the support he received from Cuan Mhuire, Oisin embarked on a study course  and is currently half way through an intensive two-year course to achieve a Diploma in Counselling.

A spokesperson for Cuan Mhuire said that the Conference was one of the many key events planned to mark the 25th anniversary.  

“This Conference will be of interest, not only to those working in the field of addiction, but also to those in areas of education, health, homelessness, community and voluntary groups and organisations, community safety and much more. 

“We will also be hosting an Exhibition and a Grand Cuan Mhuire Family Day, and indeed many other events on site at our Armagh Road Centre.”

Full details regarding the conference and programme of events over the 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th of June are available from Cuan Mhuire Newry 02830262429 or at