Ultimate Hell Week RTE: Eric Donovan backs drug-dealing boxer Gabriel Dossen

Galway man Dossen was arrested in March last year and charged with possession of cannabis worth €1,072 with intent to supply.

Kildare man Eric – who reached the special forces finale of RTÉ: Ultimate Hell Week – The Professionals – was forced into a drug addiction clinic in 2012 to seek help for his drug addiction and alcohol.

The 37-year-old has thankfully managed to get his life back on track and is now a teetotaler.

And last month, turning professional, the Athy native won the European super featherweight title with a victory over Frenchman Khalil El Hadri at the Europa Hotel in Belfast.

The Sunday world previously reported how the Galway Dossen man was arrested in March last year and charged with possession of cannabis worth €1,072 with intent to supply.

On Wednesday, he was given a six-month suspended prison sentence for the offence.

It also emerged that it was the latest in a string of drug offenses committed by the talented fighter over the past 18 months.

Last February, Dossen (22) was also found guilty of drug possession and was sentenced to 150 hours of community service instead of a five-month prison sentence for a drug trafficking offense in the same date.

Dossen made headlines in May this year when he won Ireland’s only gold medal in boxing at the European Championships in Yerevan, Armenia.

His lawyer said the offenses took place before his gold medal and that he has since been trying to put his life in order and took the ‘Prime for Life’ course ‘on his own accord’ and obtained specific toxicology results.

And ahead of his appearance on Wednesday in the ‘Ultimate Hell Week’ finale, former Irish amateur star Eric Donovan confirms his heart goes out to Dossen.

“He’s an incredible talent and a very good prospect of future Olympic medals for Ireland,” he said.

“Ireland is a very difficult place because there are a lot of problems in this country, drug problems, anti-social behaviour, crime – all that sort of thing – and it’s very easy for someone to slipping through the cracks and slipping into the wrong crowd or taking the wrong avenue I know how simple it all can be.

“But we should always give people a chance to redeem themselves and turn things around, because I think that’s very important. If we can do that, you can lead somebody, do an intervention and help somebody. trying to get out of this mess,” Donovan said.

Eric reveals how he has met many people on his own journey who have made mistakes and changed for the better.

“He is a young boy full of promise, who made a mistake. He paid the price. Get him back on track. It’s a hard lesson for him, but the best lessons in life are always the toughest and most difficult.

Eric, whose wife Laura is expecting their first baby this week and who has two sons from a previous relationship, recalls how he had his own problems when he was younger.

“I was destined for the London Olympics, but my addictions and my emotional and mental health issues were far more powerful than any of my dreams, wishes or desires,” he recalled.

“Self-sabotage was a big thing for me. In 2012 I managed to ask for help and I was able to get to the bottom of my problems. I was able to get a lot of support and a lot of help, but you are still working with it.

On a few occasions, he contemplated suicide.

“I didn’t feel like I had a purpose in life,” he says.

“I was an exceptional boxer from childhood – multiple champion. Put me in a ring and I felt like home.

“Put me against anyone and I could fight my way through any fight. It was on the outside that I struggled with emotional and mental health issues.

“Once I was able to work through it through therapists and others who helped me through the process, I realized that there were far more holistic approaches than the ones I used before.

“I am now in full recovery. I live a clean life and am very happy.

Hell Week viewers praised Eric, who is in the final four, after battling shin splints to cover more than 21 km over three peaks while carrying 50 pounds in his backpack.

“Honestly, it’s one of the greatest accomplishments I’ve done, one of the greatest feats I’ve ever been part of,” he says. “This single task alone. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I just said to the doctor “please give me a chance”.

“I could barely walk. Every step was excruciating pain. The doctor diagnosed me with severe stressors in both legs which are shin splints.

“I said, ‘I really wish I had a chance, is there anything we can do’. So he bandaged both my legs. So the way I walked, my ankles didn’t have that spinning motion, I just walked like my ankles were held together in a splint style, there was no looseness which was very painful He gave me some painkillers at first and I needed a few more when I finished the event. I couldn’t believe it when I got to the end I was so so happy”

He said he didn’t care about reaching the final as long as he did.

“I have this resilience, a deep refusal to quit,” he notes. “A burning desire to succeed and that probably comes from my life experiences. I really feel like I’ve been through hell myself because of addiction and everything, and I have to use all the battles and setbacks I’ve had to help me through it.

Comments are closed.