Hozier has revealed he felt his childhood ended when he was just six years of age after his father was left wheelchair bound. In an emotionally-charged interview with Gay Byrne on RTE’s Meaning Of Life, the Bray singer revealed how botched spinal surgery left his father John Byrne confined to a wheelchair and dependent on morphine.
The 25-year-old award-winning musician explained: “When I was about six or seven he had an operation on his spinal cord which, simply put, didn’t go well.”
“That caused irreparable nerve damage. That’s where childhood ends. That was, I suppose, the watershed of childhood. It changed all of our lives. It changed his life, it kind of ruined his life in a big way.
He added: “I don’t know how my mum did it. When you’re on morphine the whole time… you’re watching someone you love kind of fade away in many ways.”
“It’s an incredibly destructive drug in what it does to the mind and what it does to the body. He was immobile for a long time.”
But thanks to modern medicine, his father’s health has improved in recent years. Hozier, whose real name is Andrew Byrne, said: “There was a new treatment only in the last few years. It was a different drug, which I think was only on trial at the time.
“It doesn’t have the doping effects that morphine does, but it still has a similar pain-blocking effect.” The songwriter said his father is now doing “much, much better” but added he has a long way to go in his road to full recovery.