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Monday 5 December 2016

Star Shine is 'not ashamed' of his drink-driving charge

ANDREA BYRNE

Published 21/03/2010 | 05:00

Well-known Irish singer Brendan Shine has admitted that his drink-driving charge, which led him to be banned for driving for over a year in England, was a "mistake" but that he would "never feel guilty over a thing like that".

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Shine, who was celebrating his 57th birthday, was stopped by police as he drove to a hotel in Wigan. He gave a reading of 109mg of alcohol; the legal limit is 80mg.

"It was a mistake. I wasn't very much over the limit. I always say to people now, that back home in Ireland with the state of the roads, I gave up the drink driving because I was spilling too much," he joked.

"It was something I took on the chin. It was a mistake. I would never feel guilty over a thing like that. I took the penalty. I didn't lose my licence in Ireland. I lost it for a year and a half in England, but as I said, it's a lesson to be learned. It's all part of living."

Only a few months ago, the showband star was also named and shamed in the newspapers for failing to file an income tax return. He was fined €2,000. Again, Shine is regretful but not at all embarrassed. "The laws are there and you have to abide by them. I wouldn't be in the least bit ashamed," he said.

Shine, now 62, was speaking ahead of the broadcast of an RTE documentary, which is aired tonight, in which he discovers the shocking truth about the murder of his great-uncle, Fr James Coyle, in Alabama in 1921 by a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

"The daughter of a Methodist minister converted to Catholicism at aged 18 because she wanted to marry a Puerto Rican Catholic. She knew my grand-uncle and asked him would he marry them and he did. When her father found out two hours later, he walked up the road and shot him dead. Being a member of the Ku Klux clan, when it went to trial he walked free because they picked the jury, they picked the judge. It was a terrible miscarriage of justice," he said.

One expert speaking on the documentary described the trial as "the OJ of the early 20th century". Brendan discovered when he went to Alabama that his great uncle was championed as something of a martyr for his faith.

'Would You Believe' is screened tonight at 10.25 on RTE One

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