One of Ireland’s top sportsmen has revealed he is battling alcoholism.
Olympic boxing hero Kenny Egan, who won a silver medal in the Bejiing Olympics and now lives in Miami, has revealed he is fighting back after two years of binge drinking.
Egan told live television on Saturday night how his mother Maura had to drag him to the graves of his two dead brothers to make him accept his problem.
The 2008 Silver Medalist made the heartfelt confession on Brendan O’Connor’s Saturday night RTE chat show.
“I have had a major problem with the drink ever since the Olympics,” confirmed Egan as he poured his heart out to O’Connor.
“All I wanted after we came home from Beijing was drink. I’d go on week-long binges and I broke my mother’s heart.
“Drink was all I was interested in. I’d go out with my mates at the start of the week and by the end of the week I’d be in the corner of the pub with some auld fellow I’d never met before, having great craic.
“I was still living at home and it tore my mother apart. Eventually she had enough after a long binge last year and she dragged me out of bed and out to the cemetery.
“She got down on her knees in front of the graves of her two dead sons and she told me I was following them into that grave.
“That was the wake-up call I needed. I spoke to a good friend of mine who’s a counsellor and he persuaded me to go to AA.
“I didn’t want to go there at first. I thought I was bad but not bad enough with the drink to need that or to need rehab.
“But those meetings have been great. Everyone I’ve met in AA has been so
kind and so good to me.”
Egan, now based in Miami with the World Series of Boxing team, confirmed he has been sober for 25 weeks now.
He will look for a record 11th straight Irish national title in Dublin next weekend, return to America at the end of March and count down to the 2012 Olympics in London.