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Dublin GAA star calls for drugs to be decriminalised

Philly McMahon in action for Dublin
Connla Young

Dublin GAA star Philly McMahon has called for the use of drugs like heroin to be decriminalised.

The double All-Ireland winner, whose brother John died after a battle with drugs in 2012, also appealed for society not to isolate those who struggle with addiction.

The tough-tackling defender from Ballymun in north Dublin spoke about the impact of drugs on his family during an interview on RTE’s Late Late Show on Friday.

Last week Mr McMahon called for drugs to be decriminalised and for tax proceeds to be put into recovery programmes.

“I think the majority of people are uneducated about addicts,” he said.

“If you fell and broke your leg tomorrow and went to the hospital we’d get pure heroin, believe it or not - you get diamorphine, it’s pure heroin.

“The heroin you buy in the street is actually diluted down a lot, so a lot of people would probably think if I take heroin today I am going to be hooked and believe it or not it’s the social hooks that addicts - addicts will be on drugs from the social hooks, it’s not from the chemical hooks in the drugs.”

He said more can be done to help those with addictions.

“It’s just getting our heads around when you see addicts in the street, it's important we don’t push them away from society.”

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