PAUL BRANNIGAN – Wiki (born 14 September 1986) is a Scottish actor best known for his roles as Gareth O’Connor in Scottish soap opera River City and as Robbie in the film The Angels’ Share (2012). Brannigan also appeared in the 2013 movie Under the Skin.
Brannigan was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He was brought up in the rough working-class East End Barrowfield area of Glasgow. Both of his parents were long-term drug addicts and much of his youth was spent amidst gang violence and petty crime. Brannigan has described it as like “a scene from Trainspotting“. When he was ten years old, he attempted to slit his wrists. Brannigan says that, before becoming an actor, he was in serious debt and had nobody to turn to. He was a gang member in Glasgow and served time in a young offenders institution.
SOAP actor Paul Brannigan appeared in court today charged with repeatedly stabbing his brother on New Year’s Day.
The Bafta-winning Angels’ Share star is accused of assaulting David Brannigan, 29, to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement in Calton, Glasgow.
Brannigan, 33, faced the charge during a private hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court.
Cops confirmed he was arrested following reports of David being found injured in Stamford Street at around 10.20am on Wednesday.
“A 29-year-old man was taken to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
“A 33-year-old man had been arrested and charged in connection with the incident.
“A report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.”
Paul Brannigan will appear in court again at a later date.
(Kevin is Paul Brannigan’s cousin)
EXTRACT – How did his mum cope with the imprisonment? “She didn’t. She took it terribly. And it had a real effect on the family unit.” (He has a younger brother.) “I felt needed at home. My heart was in a career, but my head was at home.”
Why did his dad go to prison? Brannigan becomes silent for the first time during the interview. He waits for the longest time before answering. “My mum was attacked and my dad reacted,” is all he’ll say. Newspaper cuts reveal more. His mum was caught up in a gang feud. His dad and cousin Paul, the one-time actor who starred in The Angel’s Share film, sought revenge (both armed) and a gun went off. The result, for both, was jail. “I don’t want to talk about my cousin,” says Brannigan in pleading voice. “That’s not a world I’m part of.” https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/17339859.amp/
Paul Brannigan grew up amid a concoction of drugs, gangs and violence in Glasgow’s east end and was behind bars as a teenager. His parents were heroin addicts and he once “enjoyed” running with gangs.
By 16, Paul was carrying a gun, and served time at Polmont Young Offenders’ Institution.
Yet he turned his life around, inspired by his beloved Celtic and listening to radio in his cell.
He would stick words on his wall to build confidence and vocabulary to the point where he could carry a film which wowed audiences at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Paul knew his parents were into drugs by time he was 10. Playing in the putrid closes of Barrowfield among the needles and foil, he recognised the smell of a shooting gallery at a time when most kids had a sense of smell better atuned to Irn Bru and salt ‘n’ vinegar.
“It was the worst toilet in Scotland, like a scene from Trainspotting,” he said. “My dad was involved in taking heroin from as far back as I remember.
“I attempted to kill myself twice. When you’re a young kid, that is a cry for help.
“At nine or 10, when you cut your wrists, are you doing that because you’re looking for attention? Did I really want to die? I think I just wanted the sadness gone.
“When I was a kid, I used to run away from Barrowfield. I would run away and hide in the bushes.
“I remember sitting in the toilets at school and waiting for the bell to go while I was having a bad day.”
He was expelled twice from an education system ill-equipped to deal with the effects of such poverty that had bred yet another angry young man. He said: “I hated school. Hated the embarrassment. That brought out anger, which then brought out violence. You’re branded with the tag of troublemaker and you hate the system.
“I was punished, rather than addressing the issue. The issue was clearly I was coming to school without a good meal in my stomach, no money, no clean clothes. When I look back at it, I was depressed.
“I was begging to be given a chance. I was crying out for help.”
Paul lays his bleak background bare in a new documentary tonight as part of the STV Appeal, which explores whether an individual’s health can be pre-ordained by genetics before they’re even born.
Born To Lose? uses the actor as an example – one who seemed to be on the road to becoming just another grim statistic in the complex equation worked out on the back of Scotland’s post-industrial decline.
It explores the effects of Thatcherism’s killing of heavy industry in Scotland, which led to a fall in life expectancy among a certain demographic in some of Scotland’s most deprived areas.
Studies show how stress can impact on genetic material, making a person age quicker and also more susceptible to heart disease and cancer.
Scientists have also found people caught in the poverty trap experience such constant levels of chronic stress that the condition becomes “toxic” – and can be passed from mother to baby.
Pregnant women can “programme” their offspring with stress hormones, making the poverty cycle almost impregnable.
Paul, father of four-year-old Leo with his girlfriend Cherie, said: “Some of it is pretty disturbing. I wonder if it is already passed on. My nan died of cancer and people in my family have had it.
“Am I the one who got the worst of it, or has my son got the worst of it?”
The film hears from DCS John Carnochan of the Violence Reduction Unit, as well as Chief Medical Officer Sir Harry Burns. And it also takes Paul back to Polmont. He said: “Gangs were part of my life. I wouldn’t lie. I enjoyed it. It was part of growing up for me. It’s what I knew.
“But I remember the door banging behind me when I started my remand, and it really hit home.
“I sat with my head in my hands and pondered what was going to come next – and who the person was in the bottom bunk. I was pretty broken.”
After his release, Paul got involved with Sidekicks youth football project, which led to him being scooped up by screenwriter Paul Laverty.
He has also picked up a bit part in forthcoming Scarlett Johansson horror Under The Skin, filmed in Scotland.
He added: “If Celtic Park hadn’t been there when I was a kid, I don’t think I would have had the idea to put something back through coaching. That’s a big part of my life.”
But it’s the life of the son he hopes to steer out of the poverty trap which inspires him most of all.
He said: “Before Leo was born, I don’t know if I would have had the motivation to stay off alcohol or out of prison. You learn what love is and become a better person.
“I remember him coming out. I was first to hold him. And that was the best feeling in my life.”