To say that Philly McMahon isn’t like other Gaelic Footballers would be doing a disservice to others all over the country. However, there are a couple of things that set the Dublin star apart.
For one, the six-time All-Ireland winner’s literary skills have been commended, with his book The Choice, written with Niall Kelly, winning the 2017 Sports Book Of The Year Award.
Secondly, McMahon’s campaigning and charity work have been universally praised, with the tragic drug-related death of his brother John being very much a focus of the aforementioned autobiography.
The objective of highlighting how drug use can have detrimental effects on families and communities was carried over beautifully into The Hardest Hit, a documentary fronted by McMahon which aired on RTÉ last night.
The programme appears to have attracted a large audience and has been widely praised online. In it, McMahon invited cameras into his home as the work he does with Mountjoy’s Progression Unit was highlighted. Philly also called for decriminalisation as well as the introduction of a drug court and people were hugely impressed with what they saw…
What an incredible role model and inspiration @PhillyMcMahon is. That was such a moving, educational and emotional documentary. I’ve no doubt his Dad and brother are looking down on him with great pride. Well done Philly. #TheHardestHit pic.twitter.com/vKH118mMeU
— Hill 16 Army (@Hill16Army) October 21, 2018
— Barry Keoghan (@BarryKeoghan) October 21, 2018
I’ve always known the type of man @PhillyMcMahon is. Hopefully you watched his programme and found out for yourself. One of the most inspiring and leading people this country has ever seen. #GameChanger #TheHardestHit
— Rory’s Stories (@RorysStories) October 21, 2018
There’s the very wonderful and really progressive and compassionate Judge Ann Ryan leading the judicial response to the drugs crisis #TheHardestHit
— Gareth Noble (@GarNob) October 21, 2018
— Jacqui Hurley (@jacquihurley) October 21, 2018
— Neil McManus (@Neilmcmanus88) October 21, 2018
#TheHardestHit watching with my 13 year old son.. I lived in Rialto, Ballymun and Neilstown. Left school at 14 with no formal qualifications.. Returned to education through the Maynooth access plan.. Now I am a schoolteacher… Never give up on a dream
— Kieran Mullen (@kieranmullen5) October 21, 2018
This documentary should be shown at every secondary assembly in the morning! Incredible young man! #TheHardestHit
— Mairead McLeod (@MaireadMcleod) October 21, 2018
Extremely important seeing this now. Ballymun’s drug problem is back with a bang. Our young people need people like Philly to look up to and see they don’t need to go down that road. #TheHardestHit
— Kim (@_KimCon) October 21, 2018
— Dearbhail McDonald (@DearbhailDibs) October 21, 2018
If you missed The Hardest Hit last night, it is now available to watch on RTÉ Player. Alternatively, it will be repeated on RTÉ One, this Wednesday at 11.10pm.
If you find that’s a bit late to be staying up watching TV midweek, be sure to hit the record button. You won’t regret it.
(header pic: RTÉ)