Artist Kevin Sharkey: ‘The guy on the other line said, “Oh, not another f**king one” – turns out I had 15 brothers and sisters’

He made a fortune during the Celtic Tiger selling his art to the rich and famous before losing it all. The Donegal man, who made €15m last year, talks about how he rebuilt his career after ending up homeless and the abuse he suffered growing up

Kevin Sharkey - 'As an artist its important to learn how to become a shopkeeper'

Tanya Sweeney

Kevin Sharkey is telling me about the time he worked as Kirsty MacColl’s cleaner in the 1980s.

“I was doing all these little jobs like cleaning, which allowed me to concentrate on music,” he says. “Kirsty was so down to earth, almost common in the best way possible, and I loved that about her. When she got married [to Steve Lillywhite, in 1984], I got to the house and she stuck her head out of the window, wedding dress on, fag in her mouth, and told me, ‘You’re going in the blue Rolls-Royce.’ I got in and who is sitting in it across from me but Frida (Anni-Frid Lyngstad) from Abba.” He proceeds to add some more colourful detail from the day. “You probably won’t be able to print that,” he says, and he’s right, because it’s all pretty outrageous.