President Michael D. Higgins calls for ban on gambling advertising in sport
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President Michael D. Higgins calls for ban on gambling advertising in sport

PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins wants gambling advertisement to be removed from all sporting events.

Speaking to RTE Radio One’s Sunday Sport ahead of yesterday’s All-Ireland hurling semi-final between Cork and Limerick, the President said he does not believe gambling platforms should be advertised through sporting events.

The president, who has recently announced that he will run for a second term in office, said:

“I’m very concerned about gambling for example, which if I had my way, I wouldn’t have advertising of any access to gambling platforms in sport at all. I really worry when I read cases of people who have come through gambling problems.

“I visited the Hope House in Mayo recently who have been a great assistance to some people who have got over what is, hopefully, a terrible temporary problem.

“I think in a way we should protect our sports of keeping them free from this kind of stuff.”

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He concluded that education was only half the battle, and that a lot more needed to be done to tackle the problem.

“I just thing sport should be protected from it. There is no one being heavy about it. What you can do is through education obviously, through the school systems.

“But you can’t do everything through education. For too long in Ireland we often ignore problems that are staring at us in the face.”

By convention, the president of Ireland does not intervene in policy matters such as gambling, so Mr Higgins’s intervention is likely to raise eyebrows – especially with a presidential election looming in the autumn.