Tuesday 20 February 2018

I was feeling empty despite life of privilege, U2 star Adam reveals

Brent Pope and Adam Clayton at the launch of ‘Walk In My Shoes’ in support of St Patrick’s Hospital Foundation, Dublin
Brent Pope and Adam Clayton at the launch of ‘Walk In My Shoes’ in support of St Patrick’s Hospital Foundation, Dublin
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

U2 star Adam Clayton has revealed that he used to feel "emptiness" despite living "what seemed like a privileged life".

The Dubliner revealed how playing with U2 allowed him to forget about his depression and said music made him feel good. But when he spent "a minute" away from music he "wasn't getting that fix".

Clayton also said he believes that depression in Ireland is linked with alcohol and suppressed anger, saying: "We go to the pub and it all comes out with a family row."

The Rathfarnham-based star married Brazilian model Mariana de Carvalho in Dublin last year.

He took time out from working on the band's upcoming album to launch the 'Walk In My Shoes' campaign alongside celebrities including rugby pundit Brent Pope and 98fm DJ Ray Foley.

They are asking for the public to join Walk In My Shoes Day on May 9 by stepping out in stylish or mismatched shoes and sharing shoe 'selfies' online through #walkinmyshoes or by donating €2 by texting "Shoes" to 57802.

The campaign was inspired by a 16-year-old at St Patrick's Hospital, who wished that his friends could "walk in his shoes" to understand what he was going through.

Clayton told how he loves "the peacefulness music brings to a restless spirit". However, he added: "But if I spent a minute away from music, I wasn't getting that fix."

His own designer shoes are currently sitting in the window of Arnotts in Dublin, alongside Brian O'Driscoll's muddied rugby boots, Tiger Wood's pristine golf shoes and designer Orla Kiely's elegant Spanish sandals.

The shoes will be auctioned online at the end of May to raise vital funds for mental health services at St Patrick's University Hospital in Dublin.

Dr Jim Lucey, medical director of St Patrick's Hospital, said that there were "a lot of reasons to be hopeful" that the problem of suicide amongst young people is improving, because of greater openness in society about discussing mental health issues.

"It's early days, but we are making real changes," he said.

This is Clayton's third year to launch the drive, having taken over the mantle from his mother, Jo Clayton, who was a staunch fundraiser for St Patrick's Hospital prior to her death two years ago.

The U2 bass player has previously spoken about how he liked the idea of "in some small way carrying on my mother's work".

Irish Independent

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