Sunday 17 February 2019

'They're basically refugees in their own land' - an angry Colin Farrell slams response to Ireland's homeless crisis

Colin Farrell has spoken out against Ireland's homeless crisis. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Colin Farrell has spoken out against Ireland's homeless crisis. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Colin Farrell

Sasha Brady

Colin Farrell has called on the Irish people and the Government to sort out the homeless crisis in Ireland.

Speaking to Ryan Tubridy on RTE Radio One, the Golden Globe nominated actor said that he still feels passionately about the homeless crisis in Ireland, despite setting up home in Los Angeles.

He said: “I know I’m over in America and life is grand for me but it doesn’t mean that I don’t give a s**t about what’s going on.

“I’m not going to start lecturing the people of Ireland but it’s time the politicians [acted]... the population of our country is aghast at what’s going on."

The actor, who's a patron for the Irish Homeless Street League charity, said that homeless people in Ireland are "basically refugees in their own land".

"What is a refugee? Someone who has to move from place to place without a home to find some sense of existence or some sense of peace. They're basically refugees in their own land. It's shocking. There's no structure around it.

Colin Farrell
Colin Farrell

"You've got to look at how well every single person in our society is doing. Then you judge how well we're organising ourselves and how well we're presenting ourselves to each other. How much care and compassion we're demonstrating."

Farrell complained about the number of vacant buildings in the country that could be put to proper use.

"Imagine what you could do with the Ormond Hotel," he said.

"I used to pop pills back in the Ormond back in the day. Having a good aul rave at the weekend. What a piece of property! It's boarded up. It's redundant. It's useless. It's dead space. What do you do? You fill it with life. Fill it with social reparation. You give people the opportunity to get their lives back in order."

The father-of-two admitted that he understands how fortunate he is to be in a comfortable situation but explained that fame and fortune doesn't always guarantee an easy life. He said that he's just "lucky" that he's been given an opportunity that so many other people have been denied.

"I bury people I love. I lose people I love. My eldest son James, who's 13 now and a legend, he's had incredible health issues of his own and massive trials to face. Fame and fortune, it can't get rid of [those issues]. My job has given me an opportunity to look after my son in ways that I probably couldn't have.

"Sometimes when you realise that you're as fortunate as I've been... as jammy as I've been, you [wonder] why. You see that it's a trick of so many things. Yes you can put the effort into stuff and you can work your hardest and focus. But there are so many factors at play, in the path that's presented to every single individual on this planet, that dictates where you arrive."

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