'Disappointed' | 

Brendan Courtney slams Government for ‘passing the buck’ on cost-of-living crisis

“I don't think the Government are doing enough. And I think that they're passing the buck. I don't know what they're doing - Irish politics is a mess at the moment, and I'm disappointed”

Brendan Courtney. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Sunday World

TV presenter Brendan Courtney has slammed the government for “passing the buck” on the cost of living crisis.

The star has spent the last month in Greece where he says prices are a fraction of those in Ireland - and says he can’t imagine how tough the current situation must be for young families.

“I don't think the government are doing enough. And I think that they're passing the buck. I don't know what they're doing - Irish politics is a mess at the moment, and I'm disappointed,” said the presenter and businessman.

“I don't have kids first of all, so I'm not putting kids through education, which would have been a big deal for me. What is alarming is my f***ing energy bill. And every time I go to fill up the car I'm like: ‘Jesus Christ, it's a third more’. So I find it really alarming.”

Brendan and his partner Adam have spent recent weeks in Greece, where they were stunned at the cost of living compared to Ireland.

“We came on this holiday and we actually came on a budget. I was 50 last year and because of Covid, I had to cancel any plans I had. So I took the modest budget I had from my birthday party, put it in the credit union and said: ‘Right we're going away to Greece’.

“Adam worked remotely and we came here for the month because it was cheaper to be here than to be in Ireland. It's half the price here, we haven't spent half as much money as we would have done in Ireland. So that's depressing, right? The cost of living is absolutely alarming and I cannot imagine having a couple of kids, what that must be like.”

Brendan will be back on our screens from tonight for a new series of his moving show Keys to My Life, in which well-known stars return to the home and places which have meant the most to them in life.

To begin the new series, Brendan meets actor Bryan Murray who shows him around some of his former homes and he tells Brendan some of the stories of his life.

Born in a rundown tenement in Islandbridge, the 70-year-old actor revisits the corporation house in Arbour Hill that pulled his family out of destitution.

In London he steps back into the chic apartment that marked his ascent to TV stardom in BBC’s ‘Bread’, ‘The Irish RM’ and RTÉ’s ground-breaking drama ‘Strumpet City’. He also goes back to Brookside Close to the house where his legendary Channel 4 soap villain Trevor Jordache lay rotting under the patio for two dramatic years.

Bryan Murray

Others set to tell their personal stories in the show this autumn include Mary Kennedy, Majella O’Donnell, Ronnie Whelan and Frances Black.

“It's all about the timing and all about the storytelling. People really feel comfortable to open up about very personal stories. So we know these people, but we don't know this side of them or this stuff about them. I created the format a few years ago because I'm nosey - other people's houses really fascinate me.

"But when they walked into some rooms in series one and they burst into tears, I was actually shocked that they were so emotional. It’s all about them and their story and we really get captivated by their story.

“I suppose they trust me because I'm very honest about who I am. And I'm not afraid to express vulnerability. They've all seen the documentaries with my parents and they're as raw and as real as you can get.”

Keys to My Life returns to RTÉ One tonight at 8.30pm.

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