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“Gambling is a bigger problem than alcohol in the GAA”

Poacher reckons the GAA’s relationship with alcohol is totally overblown and that there are more worrying problems in modern society

Steven Poacher insists that gambling is a much bigger problem than alcohol in the GAA.

Poacher has been critical of GAA punditry in recent weeks with the former Carlow and Roscommon coach wanting to see more focus on games and less on analysis when it comes to coverage on The Sunday Game.

Citing a recent debate on RTÉ flagship highlights show, Poacher is adamant that there is an unhealthy obsession with talking about binge drinking within the GAA.

Speaking on the Poacher & Varley Show, he said: “There was a debate the other week on The Sunday Game which lasted for about seven or eight minutes on whether there was a drink culture in the GAA or not, in the mother of God.

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“I’ve never heard more nonsense in my life. I think it was Lee Keegan and Paul Flynn talking about. In the mother of God, drink culture and this and that.

“There’s no drink culture in the GAA and I can tell you that now for a fact, gambling is a bigger problem in the GAA. Gambling is rife in society and it’s a major problem in the GAA.

“See young lads now, they are more likely to go for a coffee than go for a drink, that’s the way society is gone. Young people now because of Instagram etc, they are more body conscious, they are more conscious about how they look.

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“They’re in the gym, they’re doing more S&C than they’ve ever done before, there’s more education around hydration, nutrition and diet. That is absolute nonsense about a drink culture in the GAA.

“Because lads go for a few pints after finishing the championship or go for a Monday Club, let people live and enjoy themselves.”

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Former Mayo star Enda Varley recalled a session that the Connacht men went on following a League defeat to Donegal in 2012 and the local outcry around it.

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“We had a session on the Sunday and then a few boys went on the Monday session and it was on the Mayo News that the Mayo squad were on the beer on the Monday,” Varley said.

“People just have a fascination or an obsession if a lad has a pint, it’s like you’re murdering a man!”

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