Thursday 29 September 2016

'It probably only took two hours to crack the poor guy' - Kian Egan on claims Westlife song used to torture prisoners

Published 15/10/2015 | 10:01

Kian Egan and Jodi Albert
Kian Egan and Jodi Albert

Former Westlife star Kian Egan has admitted that listening to a Westlife song on repeat could "crack" a person.

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His comments come in the wake of claims by a Tanzanian fisherman that the band's number one hit 'My Love' is used by the CIA to torture terror suspects.

The American Civil Liberties Union claims two US psychologists designed the unusual torture programme to get information from terror suspects in Afghanistan.

Its website states: "His interrogators would intersperse a syrupy song called 'My Love' (by Westlife) with heavy metal, played on repeat at ear-splitting volume.

‘Syrupy song’: Westlife members Shane Filan, Marcus Feehily, Nicky Byrne and Kian Egan
‘Syrupy song’: Westlife members Shane Filan, Marcus Feehily, Nicky Byrne and Kian Egan

"They told Suleiman, a newlywed fisherman from Tanzania, that they were playing the love song especially for him.

"The music constantly pounded as part of a scheme to assault prisoners' senses," they allege.

Responding to the claims, Kian Egan, who is now a coach on The Voice of Ireland, told Eoghan McDermott on 2FM that anyone would crack under those circumstances.

"If we're talking about [playing it] repeatedly, it probably only took about two hours to actually crack the poor guy with that one," he said.

He added, "I am only trying to shed a bit of light on the subject and have a bit of fun about it all.

"Look, I'm a heavy metal fan as well, I listen to Metallica on repeat.  Heavy metal and boybands are two extremes of music.  You can understand why they were used."

Fisherman Suleiman Abdullah also endured other forms of torture including being repeatedly doused with ice-cold water and worse. The ordeal drove him to attempt suicide but he was later released when he was deemed "no threat".

Fellow ex-Westlife member Nicky Byrne spoke to Ryan Tubridy on Radio One and said it also "tortures" him a little bit.

He said, "If it wasn't so serious it would be funny, but it is serious."

He added, "To be honest with you it tortures me a little bit to hear it because we sang it that much.  But it was a big hit for us.  It was around the time of our second album, which is always the biggest album if you're successful, and we took on the Spice Girls and beat them in the album chart that year."

Nicky revealed that the song was written by a team of writers in Sweden at the behest of Simon Cowell how wanted a modern verseion of Paul McCartney's Mull of Kintyre for the band's second album.

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