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12th Jun 2023

‘It freaked me out’ – Sharon Horgan recalls relatable First Confession experience

Fiona Frawley

Sharon Horgan first confession

“I think that’s why I do therapy really.”

Growing up in Ireland gives us a lot of shared experiences, one of them being the dreaded first confession. It’s one countless people relate to, award-winning actors included.

Bad Sisters star Sharon Horgan told Conan O’Brien her experiences with the church while she was growing up and it all feels extremely relatable.

While the American comedian talked about how Irish people seem to be immune to therapy, Horgan replied by saying that confession worked in the same way.

“I think that’s how I do therapy really,” said the 52-year-old. “I always assume I’m doing it wrong anyway. Isn’t it really just someone making you feel OK about your bad choices?

“In Ireland they’d say ‘are you sorry?’ you’d say ‘yes’ and you’d get some prayers to say and then you get clean slate.”

The Irish actress and writer then went on to describe the horrors of confession during her childhood that resonate with a lot of Irish people with a Catholic upbringing. In the interview she said she stopped going to confession quite young “because it freaked me out.”

Horgan described what she called “confession galas” that took place in her convent school where priests would come to the sports hall for a sort of mass confession for students.

“They would fill the hall and they’d be situated in different spots and you’d get into these big queues. You’d be like ‘ooh which priest am I going to get?'”

Another relatable aspect of her confession experiences was that she started to make up her sins in order to have something to say to the priest.

“You end up making it up, I would lie about my sins. Because you don’t really do any bad shit when you’re a kid.

You’d use things you’d read, like ‘there was a pie cooling by the open window.’

O’Brien, who also grew up Catholic, added, “the year was 1932 and I stole a cooling pie from a window and then lived down by the train tracks and ate beans out of a can.”

Horgan also talked about moving to London when she was a struggling actor, where she squatted for around three and a half years.

Header image via Getty

This article originally appeared on 


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