David‘You don’t go to prison because you are a gambler, you go to prison because you committed a crime and rightly so’

As heard on The Ryan Tubridy Show

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Ministry of Hope is a compelling new series on RTÉ One television that follows three chaplains in three very different Irish institutions over the course of a year. David, who spoke on the Ryan Tubridy Show, will feature in one of its episodes.

David worked for an accountancy company but secretly led two different lives. He was just an ordinary man who went to work each day, however, David also fell into a gambling addiction which eventually put him into prison.

David admitted that he was stealing money from his employer’s company to fund his gambling habit.

“It started out when I was under financial pressure at an earlier stage. I saw an opportunity which led me to take the first money.”

David explained to Ryan that he had access to the company’s accounts. He would make up fictitious invoices to boost his cash resources.

“I would have paid the supplier into my bank account and then I would have done a second payment to the actual supplier.”

Over the course of a few years, David ended up stealing a half a million euro from his employer. In 2013, David was caught red-handed when the company started to monitor all account activity closely. At first, he had defended himself but he eventually put his hand up and admitted everything.  After his confession, he tried to go back and find out where he took all the money from but couldn’t because he had taken so much. David accepted his fate from the start, knew what he did was wrong and was ashamed for the crime he had committed.

“I was in prison because I stole money not because I had a gambling problem. It was a case where you don’t go to prison because you are a gambler; you go to prison because you committed a crime and rightly so.”

Ultimately, David thought his life was over when the Judge sentenced him to two years in prison. He couldn’t see any future and thought it was the end for him. Some months after David was sent to Mountjoy Prison, he was sent to open centre, Shelton Abbey on account of his good behaviour. While David spent his time in prison, he had acquainted himself with a chaplain. He told Ryan that it felt good to be able to talk to someone that wasn’t within the prison system.

“I didn’t feel that he was judgemental in anyway. I felt at ease talking to somebody that wasn’t in the prison system.”

David was released 13 months later on good behaviour and is now back working and living in the community with his friends and family.

Ministry of Hope starts on RTÉ 1 Thursday 28th October.

For more from The Ryan Tubridy Show, click here. 

 

© The Listener 2017

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