University of Limerick graduate: How I beat ‘my rock bottom gambling addiction’

University of Limerick graduate: How I beat ‘my rock bottom gambling addiction’

Con Hurley wrote Shadows on my Shoulder, dealing with his gambling addiction

“YESTERDAY is history; tomorrow is a mystery.” These are the words Con Hurley lives by.

Having reached “rock bottom” following mounting debt stemming from gambling problems in the early 2000s, Corkman and University of Limerick graduate Con Hurley has written a book titled Shadows On My Shoulder, discussing his experiences with addiction.

The book was written with the Limerick Writer’s Centre

Mr Hurley is one of 21 children, and joined the defence forces in 1978.

”I joined when I was 17,” he explained, but so bad was his addiction that he left when only five months off getting a pension, "just so I could get a lump sum upfront”.

He now works in Cuain Mhuire Bruree addiction centre and has warned it is “easier than ever” for young people to get addicted to gambling thanks to apps.

“These betting companies lure people in with the promise of 10 free bets.”

“There is no security; all you need is a date of birth which can be falsified, and you’re in.”

He says that addiction comes in all forms, and said: “show me a household that doesn’t have an addiction of some kind.”

“Addiction is a disease; but like all diseases, it can be treated,” he continues. “When I started my treatment, I was told that only three in 100 people that seek help actually see the treatment through; in betting parlance, a 33-1 shot.”

”But I came through. There are some days when I struggle, but a victory for me is if I get through one day.”

Mr Hurley has been working at the centre in Bruree since 2009, and says “there is nothing I wouldn’t do” to help out someone in need.

He graduated from the University of Limerick in 2017 with a diploma in drug and alcohol addiction from UL.

”I’ll go to the ends of the earth to help someone that is struggling.”

For every book sold, a percentage will go to Cork Penny Dinners.

Shadows On My Shoulder is available for purchase in local book shops.