Philly McMahon has been earning a lot of plaudits for his brave stance on drug addiction 4 years ago

Philly McMahon has been earning a lot of plaudits for his brave stance on drug addiction

"I chose a pathway of sport. My brother John chose a pathway of drug addiction."

Philly McMahon has spoken out about his personal campaign to decriminalise drugs in Ireland and his brother's battle with addiction.

The Ballymun Kickhams and Dublin defender has had to cope with a lot away from the Gaelic pitch.

His brother, John McMahon, became addicted to heroin and passed away in 2012. McMahon, who helped the Dubs to another All-Ireland earlier this month, has spoken about this country's losing battle on drugs in the past and is setting up a charity called Half Time Talk.

Last night, McMahon was on Claire Byrne Live to give his take on drug use in Ireland and the steps that are needed to pay more than lip service to the issue.

"Today, I'm living John's legacy and trying to help youths in the area of Ballymun.

"We need to take away the stigma from drug addicts and look at it as a mental health issue. We tend to look at them and say 'You're low' or 'You're a junkie'. Personally, I think junkie is a disgusting term." 

The whole video, which includes some moving coments from Sinn Féin councillor Christy Burke, is certainly worth a watch.

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"We owe it to all the people in this country, in graveyards, that [did] not have the opportunity to ask for help," McMahon implored.

McMahon's feature on the RTE show elicited a huge response and most of it was positive.

The conversation is ongoing. It's a start.

Colm Parkinson chats to Kerry GAA legend, and author, Kieran Donaghy in a special edition of The GAA Hour: