Rival GAA teams unite in war against drugs

  • Published

Four County Armagh GAA teams have put aside their rivalries and joined forces in the fight against drink and drug abuse.

The clubs, all from Lurgan, hosted a workshop for young people aged 12 to 18 in the town on Thursday evening.

Clan na Gael, Clann Eireann, St Paul's and St Peter's, teamed up with Operation Youth to warn teenagers about the dangers of alcohol and drugs.

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte also addressed the audience at the event.

Theresa Burke, whose son died after taking Methadrone, showed the crowd video footage of 22-year-old Kealen's deterioration after he took the drug in 2007.

Theresa said: "I want to show these young people the reality of drugs. They aren't glamorous and they aren't cool. In the end they will kill you, that's the reality.

"Kealan suffered terribly before he died and I want them to see just how awful it was.

"I hope that will mean any young person thinking of taking drugs will think again, and that anyone who is already taking them will seek help immediately."

The four GAA clubs taking part in the initiative said they hope Kealan's tragic story will help them underline the risks associated with substance abuse.

Fiona Corry from Clann Eireann added: "This initiative doesn't signal that there is a particular problem within the GAA.

"The fact is that the association plays a key role in the community and we want to do what we can to address this serious issue."