Former Westlife star Shane Filan has hit back at critics who have accused him of leaving builders and tradesmen out of pocket after his Shafin property business collapsed.

Filan responded for the first time to the comments in an interview with The Irish Times. “Most people that might be giving out about it, give out about all these tradesmen that we left in the lurch or people that did work for Shafin or the builder who was building the housing estate for us, that they weren’t paid, or that people who built my house in Sligo weren’t paid . . . " he said.

"Everybody, every tradesman that worked for Shafin or built my house got fully paid, well paid. Everybody got paid. I would like that to be said if I could because I haven’t said it before and it’s important.

"People kind of think we left all these plumbers or electricians without getting paid. Even when I had to clear out my house, I paid people to help me move it. I paid people to take out stuff that I wanted.

“A lot of people give out about that, especially in Sligo, people give out about that a lot . . . but they haven’t got a clue what they’re talking about, genuinely.”

Filan, who releases his debut solo single Everything To Me on August 23rd, also paid tribute to his wife, Gillian, in the interview, saying that she has become "like my shrink nearly" over the past few years of financial collapse and worry.

“She just kept telling me we’ll be alright, whatever’s meant to be for us will be. She kept telling me, ‘look at our kids, look at our marriage, everything is great’. She was like my shrink nearly, she talked me through stuff and was amazing.

“She’s the reason I’m still positive. She’s the reason these songs are out there. I can’t say enough about her. She was my rock, mountain, boulder, you put it altogether, she was that person.”