Philly McMahon has no intention of going down the political route

Philly McMahon has been a powerful voice for societal change when it comes to drugs but the Dublin defender has no intention of transferring those views to the political arena for now.

Philly McMahon has no intention of going down the political route

The Ballymun man has been approached about the possibility of running for office “a couple of times” but he was coy yesterday when asked to reveal the identity of the suitors and explained that his input was of greater worth elsewhere.

“I’d only get into politics if I felt it was a better platform than charity and I don’t think it is at the minute,” said the multiple All-Ireland winner.

McMahon’s brother John died of a drug overdose and that has prompted him to speak up about the wider issue. The defender gave an emotional speech about his sibling at a Drugs Policy Consultation, but politics isn’t a road he seems to be keen on.

“I don’t know how much trust there is in politics nowadays in society. Put it this way, I’d listen to Peter McVerry more than a politician, and that’s no disrespect to any politician because there’s some very good ones there.

“I speak very highly of Helen McEntee on mental health. Lynn Ruane, I actually love Lynn, by the way. If you get the chance to sit down for five minutes with her she is the Conor McGregor of politics — in the good way, not the bad way!

“But she’s very down to earth and I think she’s got something unique. Aodhan O’Riordan is a very positive activist in terms of decriminalisation of drugs. So there is really good people there, so I’m not beating everyone with the same stick, in terms of politics.”

McMahon would dearly love for a change of approach to the drug problem in Ireland.

He sees initiatives working in other countries and sees a fear of change here at home.

He believes that has to change from the top down.

McMahon explored his relationship with his brother John, who passed away five years ago, in detail in his acclaimed book The Choice. It was yesterday named as the eir Sports Book of the Year for 2017.

The 30-year old has endured more difficult times this year, his father Phil being diagnosed with stomach cancer.

The former All Star used it initially as motivation this season but it ended up consuming him.

It was still a season that ended with another All-Ireland title. His fifth. And McMahon echoed the words of Dublin CEO John Costello elsewhere in today’s paper when dismissing some of the criticism aimed at the enigmatic and sometimes aloof Jim Gavin.

“You’ll never know him, but he never changes. That’s who he is. In a different setting, or if you’re at training with him, he’s the exact same. But I’m sure a lot of the lads take traits of who he is and bring it into the way they are.

“You’ve just seen him a few weeks ago doing charity work for Bóthar. There’s no surprise that there’s a lot of lads on that team that do charity work as well. It breeds down from the top to the bottom.

“If only these people could realise that that’s what works: That that’s what we need to do in terms of politics. I’m not saying Jim Gavin should be the next Taoiseach, but what I’m saying is he’s doing something that’s working.

“I can just the headline now, ‘Jim Gavin for Taoiseach!’ President? Don’t change the President. Keep him the way he is. He’s lovely, everyone loves him. I couldn’t get over to the Áras (with the Dublin team on Monday night), I had a charity board meeting last night.”

That’s McMahon. Doing his own little bit the best way he knows how.

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