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Tony O'Reilly - Gambling Addiction Counsellor and Psychotherapist

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AIB Bankcentre Branch

1-15 Serpentine Avenue

D04 C9Y0 Dublin 4

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**Please note this event is for staff and contractors within AIB**

Location: The Forum - Beside iLearn centre.

A former Gorey Post Office worker who stole €1.75 million from An Post to fund his gambling addiction has published a memoir of his shocking downfall and reinvention as an addiction counsellor.

Tony O'Reilly, who was living in Carlow at the time, was sentenced to four years in jail in late 2012 with one year suspended.

Tony ended up losing everything because of his uncontrollable gambling addiction and it led him to increasingly devious thefts from the national postal service. Those thefts included stealing his betting money from bundles of post office cash with a pair of pliers so they would not be missed in Gorey post office, where he had risen to branch manager.

The toughest time was leaving prison. He had to rebuild a new life and try to heal a lot of relationships he had ruined because of his gambling addiction. 'Two months after I came out of prison my mother passed away from cancer, it was tough,' he said.

During his time in prison, Tony underwent counselling and has now trained as an addiction counsellor. He said he stills feels a lot of guilt, shame, and regret and is not proud of what he did.

Tony, who now lives in Waterford, works in Dublin at Teach Mhuire as an addiction counsellor. It is a temporary emergency accommodation for people who suffer with an addiction to alcohol, drugs, and gambling. They stay for six months to a year before being reintroduced to society.

'I always say to my clients who leave prison that the recovery is the hardest part,' said Tony. 'It is hard to get your life back on track.'

Tony said his advice to anyone suffering from a gambling addiction is to just ask for help.

'What stopped me was the fear, pride and my ego. There is a guilt and shame towards having a gambling addiction.

'There is no need for anyone to get to the level I was at. There are services available for people to reach out and talk.'

Tony has a website which includes plenty of contacts and information for people with an addiction. Visit www.tonyjoreilly.com He hopes to continue to help people and families. 'I want to raise awareness about gambling addiction.'



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AIB Bankcentre Branch

1-15 Serpentine Avenue

D04 C9Y0 Dublin 4

Ireland

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