President Michael D Higgins has criticised gambling advertising, particularly on television.

The President was speaking at the formal opening of the 34-unit Carraig Eden addiction rehabilitation centre in Wicklow, which is run by the Tiglin charity.

It was the largest official engagement for the President outside of Áras an Uachtrán since March 2020.

Speaking to those gathered outdoors, President Higgins said society has an obligation to look at the opportunities that are being created for addiction.

"I'm a lifetime supporter of sport, and during Covid, my heart broke regular times, to think sport being saturated with gambling advertisements which are so dangerous and have some so much damage to families and to individuals," he said.

The President expressed hope that people can be able to work and enjoy sport freely, without undue pressure.

"I say this as a former Minister for Broadcasting myself, it's a concern of mine," he said.

President Higgins and his wife Sabina toured the refurbished Tiglin facility in the seaside village of Greystones this morning and met residents and those involved in the charity.

The President said local authorities across the country could take Wicklow County Council as an example of how funding can be used for the betterment of wider society.

He also expressed pleasure to be by the sea after so long.

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