Gabriel Byrne has 'not completely healed' from growing up in Dublin

Dublin Live

Alison O' Reilly
  • 06:00, 18 JUL 2022
  • UPDATED07:15, 18 JUL 2022


Actor Gabriel Byrne has said he has “not completely healed “ from growing up in Dublin despite leaving Ireland as a young man.

The Hollywood star, 72, added that he is still coming to terms with sexual abuse, a repressive Ireland and a tough working-class background.

The father-of-three said: “They [the Church] dealt in fear and humiliation. Some of that goes deep inside you and takes a long time to get rid of – the fear of the world, the uncertainty of life and your place with it.”

Read more: Gabriel Byrne's hands to be immortalised outside Gaiety Theatre among the greats

Born in 1950 in Walkinstown, Co Dublin, the performer is best known for his role in The Usual Suspects. In 2010, he revealed had been sexually abused by a Catholic priest as a child, and then by another cleric in the seminary he attended in Liverpool aged 11.

In an interview with the Observer newspaper yesterday, he said he still relives his trauma. Byrne added: “The priest’s breath was sour and hot as he moved towards me. Then there was blackness.”

He has previously spoken about his battle with alcoholism describing it as “a major national and cultural problem”.

The star, who found fame in Irish drama The Riordans, said: “It’s only lately that I have begun to reconcile myself to Ireland and to myself when I left there. That has not been completely healed.”

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