Damien Dempsey reveals his shock when he found out that Ian Bailey is a huge fan of his music

Damien tuned out “Murder in the Shack” only because he liked anything Sheridan composed, but he was dumbfounded when he saw Billy playing in his shack and praised one of his songs, “I Don’t Have an Excuse”.

“I held my head in my hands on the way to ‘Jesus Christ,'” he recalls. “I had my hands in my arms when I was watching Jim Sheridan’s documentary because the song they were playing ‘I Have No Excuse’, that’s a song of mine, the song that Ian Bailey was playing.” I have no excuse.”

When I heard the chorus, I was ‘Ah for f**k sake’

The chorus includes the lines:

“I have no excuse, I am so bad I cry I have no excuse, I laugh until I cry

I speak wrathful, misguided, nonsense, and they buy, they buy, they buy, I speak petty, scathing, scathing, and they buy, they buy, they buy, they buy.”

When asked about his thoughts on the famous case, he replied, “I have no idea. I’ve always been a fan of Jim Sheridan and it would be nice to see some kind of justice served in this case.”

“But I was telling people ‘Jesus Christ’ when I saw and heard him (Billy) playing one of my songs, especially ‘I Have No Excuse’.”

Sky was shown at the height of the lockdown and Damien admits he found the period challenging.

“It was a financial challenge, but it was amazing spiritually. I just went back to nature, back to the land. There is a local forest in Howth. It was about 5k. I’m in Donaghmead. I’ve been there the whole time, wandering through the woods and even mountaintop,” he recalls.

“From Howth you can see all of Wicklow, you can see Tara, Morne Mountains, Cooley Mountains and Cuchulainn country.

“I’d just walk there, through the woods, up the hill, and then come down, and dip into the sea and that would cure anyone of all sorts of things.”

He is believed to be spiritual.

“I will not be religious, I am very spiritual and spiritual. I have had small payments here and there all my life,” he confirms.

“My mom and my mom, my grandmother, they called themselves white witches. They knew things before they happened. I’m kind of that, a bit intuitive.”

He thinks we have a connection to our pagan past.

“I think that’s what it is, more than that. It’s a shame that organized religions separate us from nature, while ancient religions seem so attuned to nature,” he argues.

“I think for a long time in Christianity in Ireland, the church here was very in tune with the pagan way and the Romans didn’t like it and they tried to change it after that over the years.”

The 47-year-old star in a documentary airing on RTÉ1 on Thursday that focuses on three of his recent concerts on Dublin’s Vicar Street at Christmastime.

We filmed the three parties, but we mainly filmed midnight on a Saturday. Mostly all you see is Saturday night,” he explains.

“I didn’t think anyone could pick that up, bumping into that.”

Filmmaker Ross Keelen initially talked about the idea to him.

Ross came to me and said ‘I’d like to try and do something about your Vicar street parties because I was so frustrated. My friend told me to go for one and I did and I couldn’t believe how high I had raised it, “and he wanted to try and catch that,” he recalls.

“I was kinda skeptical because he hadn’t done a lot of documentary stuff before, but it sounded so real and I thought no one else wanted to do something with us and I said ‘I’m going to give it a try’ and I said ‘let’s make a movie that helps people.'” He said ‘Deal,’ we shook hands Somehow, he took hold of the vibration there, I don’t know how he did.”

He adds, “It was cool, because he didn’t talk about me, it wasn’t like the Damo show, it was about the fans. They really make the show. You can go out there and do the best performance of your life, but if the fans aren’t with you, opening their hearts and letting their hair down and letting go.” About everything is not going to be good. It has to do with what happens between me and the fans, that’s the healing power of it.”

Damien has long been involved in issues of social justice, whether it was homelessness or the fight to save the building on Moore Street in Dublin, some 1916 leaders took refuge after Easter Rising.

“There has to be some kind of sweeping reform. I don’t know what the answer is, but I know there has to be a big change somehow,” he stresses about the housing crisis.

He’s single at the moment and trying to catch up on his mortgage.

“You’re kind of locked up, a lonely time. Since I’ve been back I’ve been trying to pay off my mortgage. I’ve done about 45 shows so far since February, so it’s just getting to work, trying to come up with a good new album, and just to give people a boost,” he notes.

“I was going to kind of stay on the track and get whatever show I could. I just feel like I have a little mission, to bring some recovery to Ireland after all the trauma this island has been through and that’s all I’m trying to do.”

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