Irish actor Gabriel Byrne has spoken candidly about his own struggles with alcoholism and about addiction in Ireland, calling it "a major national and cultural problem".

Speaking on The Ray D'Arcy Show on RTÉ Radio One the 70-year-old Dublin native said that there is "no shame" admitting you have a problem. 

He said: "Addiction is a major national problem, cultural problem... I happen to be someone who was addicted and allergic to alcohol.

Byrne, who has spoken about his problems with alcohol on many occasions told D'Arcy that he is almost 25 years sober. He also encouraged anyone who is struggling to seek help.

He said: "I encourage anyone who thinks they have a problem, that there's no shame in it, that their life will improve 300% (without it). It doesn't do any good.

"The joy of waking up without a hangover and not wondering when someone comes up to you and says, do you not remember last night, dancing on the counter in the Shelbourne Hotel?"

Byrne began his acting career began in the Focus Theatre before he joined London's Royal Court Theatre in 1979. His TV debut was on Irish drama The Riordans, followed by the spin-off show, Bracken.

He moved to America at the age of 37 and has since become one of the most recognised names in Hollywood having starred in over 75 films and received numerous accolades. 

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