RTÉ superstar, joke priest and Sunday Independent columnist Brendan O’Connor has revealed that he lived through a ‘hellstorm’ of heavy drug abuse and week-long benders in his college years but is adamant that “he did not enjoy it”.
Following a series of tabloid articles piecing together the last movements of tragic model Katy French, Mr. O’Connor revealed his former drug habit left him cold. Speaking to The Daily Mirror, the RTÉ star said “I took cocaine in college, to get my ‘kicks’ – but it wasn’t for me”. The presenter went on to explain that he would carry cocaine in a hollowed-out wrist watch for ease-of-snorting on the move, as well as some in his wallet and shoes. He also stored some other small amounts in his car, at his parents’ house, in a Fujifilm film container sellotaped to the inside of his dog Buster’s kennel, in the lining of a Penny’s leather jacket and behind a false plug socket near the confession box in his local parish church in Bishopstown, Cork. “I would often buy too much for myself and have to just give it away! Or sell it from my car in housing estates whilst wearing a pair of shades” he said, wistfully. But he maintains that the drug never really gave him that much of a thrill. “I couldn’t see what the fuss was all about” he said.
The Saturday Night Show presenter was reported to have partied with Ms French and a garda at a five-star Dublin hotel 48 hours before she collapsed. During the course of the investigation, Mr O’Connor revealed that he had past experience with drugs other than cocaine and eventually divulged the details of a nightmarish troubled-storm during his college years that he says strangely never really interested him that much.
“I had been huffing glue and smoking crack cocaine and drinking vodka for about 25 days straight one time in Dublin, and had wound up getting into a bit of trouble after I car-jacked an SUV outside Heuston station whilst brandishing a screwdriver – and bleeding from my face – & drove it into the river. I got out and then immediately robbed a bus which I also drove into the river! I was really getting on people’s nerves back then, and I got hauled up in front of my college tutors for that one. And all that time, I wasn’t even really enjoying myself that much! I also shot someone once”
O’Connor confesses to just wanting to give it all up one evening while taking a vicious beating on the back and legs from some men in prison who had implements, including bits of a smashed bowling ball. “I had sold a guy some toilet beer which had a fag butt in it and I think he got a bit cheesed off with me! So him and his pals beat me until I had to go to a special hospital in England for a number of months. I remember wondering, is this really where I want to be going? I had taken a few wrong turns and needed to get back to reality!”
O’Connor says he soon got bored with drugs and packed them in. Once his supply ran out and he could no longer pay his debtors, he simply didn’t buy drugs again and, in his own words “walked away from all of it pretty much unscathed”.
“Well actually at that particular time I was ‘rolling away’ in an advanced motorized wheelchair which I controlled with my cheek” he added.
Since the incident and O’Connor’s finishing with drugs he says he feels “much more together”. The star says he has taken an interest in craft beer brewing from the basement of his plush Dublin home, where he plans to market an innovative pale ale made from a distinctively-flavoured batch of hops and barley, peppered with a large quantity of Mr Muscle and ground-up yokes.