Colin to ring in the New Year with old pals and a Diet Coke

Claire Murphy

COLIN Farrell is planning a quiet celebration to ring in the New Year in Ireland.

The Hollywood star is home for a few weeks to spend the festive season with his family in Dublin.

The star of The Way Back said that he has reformed his bad boy ways and has kept to his pledge to not drink alcohol.

Colin said that he never makes exact plans for December 31 celebrations but has pencilled in a catch-up with his friends from home.

"For the new year, I'll be home in Dublin," he told the Herald.

"I don't know what I'll do yet.

"I'll probably spend it with my old pals -- see what they're up to.

"I'll do whatever anyone else is up to -- it's not like I'm here long enough to have any major plans," he added.

"I'm kind of riding on the back of everyone else."

Colin (34) had a reputation as a hellraiser while in Hollywood and admitted that he regretted the time wasted while he was hungover.

However, he said that his wild partying days are behind him after he gave up drinking.

"I don't drink -- Diet Coke will only take you to a certain stage of the evening," he said.

"Nobody even notices -- I just slip away."

The actor is currently starring alongside Saoirse Ronan in an epic about World War II prisoners escaping a Siberian PoW camp.

And earlier Saoirse (16) revealed that the big-hearted star arranged for a box of goodies to be sent from Ireland, so that she wouldn't feel homesick while filming for the movie in Morocco.

"He had been there before and he knew that the food wasn't very similar to ours -- it's all lamb, it's all tagines," Saoirse said.

"So he sent me over a package with teabags, crisps -- Tayto crisps. All that beautiful Irish food. It just made my year to have that stuff from home."

While he was home, Colin took time out from his busy schedule to attend a charity function arranged by Debra Ireland, the organisation which supports people affected by the condition Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).

Colin had to take a ferry home because of the massive disruptions to flights across Europe, and his mum made it back just in time to Dublin from Los Angeles on one of the last flights in before December 25.

Next year, he said he plans to spend the festive season with his children -- he will alternate with the two boys' mums.