Aslan star reveals how sex abuse sparked heroin addiction

ROCK band front man, Christy Dignam, has spoken of how his sexual abuse as a child contributed to his heroin addiction as an adult.

Dignam, lead singer with Aslan, said it was usually assumed the music industry brought him into contact with drugs but he believed his addiction was purely attributable to personal issues.

The 49-year-old Dubliner was sexually abused by a neighbour over several years, beginning at the age of six.

“I actually did not feel so bad about the abuse. I felt bad years later as an adult because I wasn’t disgusted at the time,” he revealed on RTÉ radio’s Ryan Tubridy show.

“Part of you feels kind of privileged that they [the abuser] chose you above anybody else and then when you are an adult, looking at the logic of that, you feel terrible because I feel I should have been disgusted and appalled and I wasn’t.”

Dignam said he also struggled with living the dual life of a rock star with stretch limos and luxury hotels while going home to family and friends trapped in the deprivation of 1980s Finglas.

He said he was afraid to say anything about the abuse as it was happening and he only realised the problems driving his addiction after a spell in rehab in the late 1980s.

“I didn’t say anything for years and years. I felt I must have been leading this guy on, that I was teasing him but then when I was with my wife, I’d say ‘look you’re with a woman, you’re not gay’.

“All that mental s**t was going on and when I used to take drugs, it blocked all that out.

He praised other abuse survivors whose campaigning brought about the Child Abuse Commission and the Ryan Report.

“It’s great now that people are speaking about it.”

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