Thursday 18 April 2019

'The most pertinent fact for me at the time was shame' - Oscar winning film director Neil Jordan on becoming homeless

Neil Jordan speaks to presenter Ryan Tubridy about how he was homeless for a time. Photo: RTE
Neil Jordan speaks to presenter Ryan Tubridy about how he was homeless for a time. Photo: RTE
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Oscar-winning film director Neil Jordan has described how he suddenly became invisible when he was homeless.

The writer and director told RTE's Late Late Show that he had to sleep in Phoenix Park when his money ran out when he was younger.

“I went over there in the summer and I was meant to get an apartment for a bunch of friends. They were all going to move over to get jobs. They didn’t turn up, so I used to wait at Heuston station for them to come, and for some reason something happened in their lives and they didn’t come so the money ran out.”

He explained: “I ended up sleeping in the park opposite Heuston station and gradually I just found myself on the streets. It was extraordinary, you know, because I had nowhere to go.”

“It was a really interesting experience because you suddenly become invisible, you know, people don’t actually look at you.”

Jordan said that he was too ashamed to ask his family for help.

“You obviously get filthy, you don’t look right, you don’t smell right probably, and you end up in environments that are so shocking that you do not want to ask for help.”

“The last people I would have told about the situation that I was in would be my family, you know, because there’s a sense of shame about where you’ve gotten to.”

He added: “I found it a really interesting experience, I mean I’m glad I went through it, it was quite terrifying and quite dangerous but I don’t think people fully understand homelessness and I think the most pertinent fact for me at the time was shame... the shame of falling through the cracks.”

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