Monday 25 March 2019

Christy Moore opens up about 'shocking experience' of father's death when he was just 11 years old

Christy Moore
Christy Moore
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Christy Moore has opened up about the impact of losing his father when he was just 11 years old.

The legendary Irish singer (73) described the loss as a "shocking experience" while speaking to Ruairi McKiernan on the Love And Courage podcast.

"I can remember my first thoughts on being told daddy had died and they're very odd thoughts that came into my head," he said of his father Andy's death in 1956.  He died aged just 41 while under anaesthetic for a minor operation.

"I can remember the next day going to my mother and asking her certain questions.  But I was 11, so it's understandable that I would ask ridiculous questions."

Moore, who grew up in Kildare, revealed that the reality of what had happened and the impact only really dawned on him when his own son was 11.

"I was driving down the road one day and my 11-year-old son was in the back seat of the car and I looked in the mirror and I saw him and suddenly it dawned on me the affect it would have on him now at this moment, if he was told what I was told when I was 11," he said.

"And it really f****** hit home.  That thing hit home to me that day, even though it was many, many years on."

Christy and his five siblings were left in the care of their mother Nancy, who raised them alone.  Nancy passed away in 1992.

"It was a shocking experience and if affected us all in different ways and I believe all six of us are still affected by it, you know, by the impact it had on our lives."

He said that what his mother did in terms of raising them alone was "quite amazing" and added that he grew up in a "strong family environment" and that despite losing their father they still "grew up in a loving, caring environment".

Speaking about his long, hugely successful career, Moore revealed that his stance on social issues tackled in his music has resulted in hate mail down through the years.

His song 'Middle of the Island' about Ann Lovett, the 15-year-old schoolgirl who died after giving birth at a grotto in Granard in 1984, was one such song.

"Ann Lovett caused a lot of hate mail, you know. Not a deluge, but it certainly did rattle," he said.

"There was a time it used to scare me a bit but now it means it's working.  The songs are working if people love them and hate them.

"They're living.  They're alive.  They're not just meaningless."

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