“I did not have a happy childhood.” Tommy Tiernan speaks about growing up in Navan 4 years ago

“I did not have a happy childhood.” Tommy Tiernan speaks about growing up in Navan

Recent trips back to his hometown have been bittersweet for the popular comedian.

Tommy Tiernan has revealed how spending time in his hometown of Navan recently has made him realise that he did not have a happy childhood.


Tiernan is our guest on Ireland Unfiltered this week and during a conversation with host Dion Fanning, he discussed his memories of his upbringing in Navan.

Tiernan has spent a lot of time in his hometown recently, his trips from Galway to Belfast prompting diversions into Navan, where he has taken to driving through the town at night and through the housing estates where he grew up.

While Tiernan says that his return to his hometown has brought back some great memories of his friends and of a Navan childhood, he says it has also provoked recollections of some less idyllic experiences.

Here’s how the conversation between host and guest proceeded.


Tommy: And I rolled down the window one night and I just parked the car and I wanted to breathe in the Navan air, you know. And I realised that I didn’t have a happy childhood. And that awareness came to me, I says "Yeah, I did not have a happy childhood". Things were too tense at home.

Dion: And when you say tense what do you mean?

Tommy: Just full of anger and unresolved stuff and… do you know the feeling when you’ve walked into a room and people have just had an argument and they’ve stopped the argument but you can feel something? Well, our house was like that.

Dion: All the time?


Tommy: Yeah, totally. So you’re aware of that… I had that feeling, I had a realisation and being able to name it, “I did not have a happy childhood”. But I was able to almost name it without feeling wounded by it or… laying the blame at anybody.

Dion: Angry?

Tommy: Without feeling angry, without feeling, just kinda, ok… yeah. That was my experience, you know, without laying any great pressure on it, that was just the way it was, you know. And then I drove to Slane.

Dion: And you got angry again!


Tommy: Grrrr!

You can read Tommy's account of his regular phone conversations with President Michael D Higgins here and you can watch his full interview with Dion Fanning below.

You can listen to the eighth episode of Ireland Unfiltered in its entirety by simply clicking here and you can use #IrelandUnfiltered to join the conversation on social.

Ireland Unfiltered, brought to you in partnership with Carlsberg Unfiltered, will be available everywhere you get your podcasts and on YouTube every Tuesday.