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My shock at Dublin poverty – Love/Hate Tom

LOVE/HATE actor Tom Vaughan-Lawlor has spoken of how shocked he was seeing the deprivation in some parts of Dublin while filming the RTE series.

The 34-year-old said he felt lucky to have been brought up in a middle class suburb of Dublin when he saw how bad things were on the other side of the tracks.

"It's mind blowing to go into areas with such a lack of community facilities. It's shocking, the deprivation, to find people who are really poor.

"One minute you're in Blanchardstown shopping centre and everyone is going around shopping, and then the other you are across the street where people have very little. I suppose it's where you grow up and how things pan out."

However the father-of-one said that the people he met shooting the latest series of the RTE had been incredibly supportive. "It's very humbling the way people wish us luck. They seem very proud of an Irish show that punches at the level."

He said that writer Stuart Carolan made sure in the scripts to show that crime didn't pay.

"We film in areas that are very directly affected by this culture. We film in areas untouched by the Celtic Tiger legacy," he added.

"People are seduced by Nidge's charisma and the charisma of the show but at the same time they can differentiate from that. The whole question, are we glamorising violence? That's a question we left behind after the first season after as the show got darker and darker.

Opening in Dublin in play Howie The Rookie at the Project Arts Centre on Monday June 17, he added that key to his portrayal of gang lord Nidge was the shoes he wore while filming.

"Nidge is a mish mash of a lot of people, but the type of runners you wear on your feet make a big difference, Nidge wears really light runners and that makes him move quicker," he said.