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Master of all he surveys
Having been ficticiously portrayed in Treacle Jr., Aidan Walsh now wants the real story of his life to be told.
Stuart Clark, 14 Sep 2011
Actor, singer, photographer, cameraman, promoter, Master of the Universe. Aidan Walsh has been all of these things in a wonderfully maverick career dating back to the 1980s.
Now he’s the inspiration for Aidan Gillen’s character in Treacle Jr., Jamie Thraves’ independent film, which premiered here last month in the Dublin IFI and has had critics drooling on both sides of the Irish Sea.
“I’ve known Aidan since he was 8 and an altar boy at Gardiner Street Church where I was living and working at the time under the guidance of Brother David,” Walsh tells us over tea and spag bol in his favourite D2 café. “We’ve been friends ever since and even though he’s busy with his acting still keeps in regular contact. He makes time for me no matter what.”
What does Walsh think of the movie he stars in by proxy?
“I’m very happy with it,” he enthuses. “It’s my voice that he’s doing, which is good advertising for me. They warned me what was going to be in the film and asked did I mind, which I respect them for. I could have said ‘no, forget it’ before it was shown to anybody, but I trusted them both to do me proud and they did.
“When I got to see the finished film I was stunned. It was like looking at the younger me in the mirror!”
While Aidan Gillen’s vocal impersonation of his namesake is spot-on, both parties emphasise that Treacle Jr. is a work of fiction.
“The film Aidan is a blue baby, but I’m not a blue baby,” Walsh resumes. “The film Aidan’s also good at playing the drums, but I don’t play the drums. There are lots of differences like that.”
The 58-year-old is keen though that the story of his at times difficult life – he was an orphan who spent his formative years in Cork’s infamous Lota School for Boys – be told.
“I’m looking for a sponsor and a ghostwriter to help me write a book about my life. Then I’d like it to be turned into a film. I’m also looking for a sponsor to fund an exhibition of my band photography in the Button Factory in Temple Bar. I’ve thousands of photos and hundreds of old rolls of film that still need developing. There could be all sorts of treasures in among them!”