Wednesday 19 June 2019

'You leave calm as a breeze' - Tommy Tiernan to spend 50th birthday sitting in silence for 10 days on Buddhist retreat

Tommy Tiernan
Tommy Tiernan
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Comedian Tommy Tiernan has made a living out of outrageous comments and his quick-fire wit.

However, the RTE presenter (49) said he will celebrate his 50th birthday by sitting in silence in the west of Ireland for 10 days.

The performer will head to a Buddhist centre in Clare for his birthday on June 16 as he adopts a Zen-like approach to entering a new decade.

He said his birthday would be spent not talking but meditating for nine hours a day and eating nothing after lunchtime.

None of his pals took up the invitation to join him.

"It takes three days for the scales of culture to fall off you," Tiernan said.

"We're all so busy and we're all flying around. It takes three days of sitting still looking at a spot on the floor for your body to kind of come back to itself."

He said the following three days were spent in "moral and psychic panic" but that the end result was more than worth it.

"The final four days, you're kind of coming to some sense of yourself. You leave calm as a breeze," he said.

Tiernan spent 10 years as a strict teetotaller after giving up his hell-raising ways, but he told RTE's Ryan Tubridy he was now back on the booze.

He said working as a comedian on the live circuit as well as shooting his popular Saturday night chat show on RTE One meant he regularly operated "on a high".

"I drink whiskey, I smoke cigars, I shout at the television, but then I collapse," he said. "There are moments when I'm energy-less, so I have this extreme way of life."

Tiernan said that while he enjoyed drinking now, it was not to the same extent as when he was younger.

"I just think that every now and again, that thing of losing control, I'm not sure it's an altogether bad thing," he said.

He told Tubridy his sober decade was "wonderful" and gave him great clarity.

Read more: The Tommy Tiernan Show is ratings hit in new Saturday night slot

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