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Actor who shoplifted for children is back on stage

AN ACTOR who shoplifted to feed his children is back on the stage.

Joe Purcell (pictured) was convicted of shoplifting and given a suspended three-month prison sentence.

He is now rebuilding his life with a number of roles in new productions.

However, the 57-year-old from Donomore Park, Tallaght, Dublin, said he would still struggle financially as he pursued his love of acting.

The father of three said he was paid €300 for five weeks of rehearsals and a two-week run. "It's not going to make me rich," he laughed.

He hit rock bottom last August when a delay in the child benefit meant the family ran out of money and had no food.

He was brought before the courts after shoplifting €58 worth of groceries.

Joe will appear in 'First of the Day' part of 'Blood Ties', a trilogy of short plays from writer and director Andy Hinds. It runs at the New Theatre in Temple Bar from December 3-15, with tickets from €12.

Irish Independent