GAA players turning to cocaine for kicks

Ciarán Carey says many GAA players are turning to cocaine. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

by Bernie English

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A FORMER Limerick All-Star hurler has claimed that GAA players are now using cocaine in clubs the length and breadth of the county to gain an edge in the game.

Ciarán Carey (51) said the drug has become far more accessible to players since Covid entered the scene and, unlike alcohol, it does not slow players down in their game.

Now working in his own psychotherapy practice, Carey says he has seen as surge in abuse of the drug in recent years.

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In an interview with Newstalk, he said there are “about ten clubs out here waiting for me to do some kind of talk on the issue in the new year. It isn’t going away.

“It needs to be confronted at officership level and reach out for certain people.”

He added that while younger men are the ones most likely to abuse the drug, there has also been a rise in female players turning to cocaine use.

“Some people with existing mental health difficulties may be at serious risk, he said.

“Like having a first drink, people dabble often enough or long enough, it will grab you.”

He said that, in the past, many sports clubs had a tendency to push the issue under the carpet and ignore it, “but in recent years they are taking a firmer stance”.