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There was just a general assumption: ' Well look, you're not academic – this isn't for you. "But Dublin in the 1980s was a different time – even third level graduates were unemployed or working at low-level stuff. I wouldn't have gotten very far." Still, emigrating was a bold move for a 16-year-old.
"Sure, I got mugged and beaten up and all the rest of it, but the other side was that it was a phenomenal era in New York City's history," enthuses Geary, who still owns a bar in Manhattan with the chucklesomely Irish name, Scratcher.
"So, to kind of get to brush up against that in a small way, I really feel very fortunate to have shown up when I did." Best of all, it means Geary will have no shortage of colourful stories to draw upon for his now eagerly anticipated future works.
"It was undiagnosed; in those days, no-one knew what dyslexia was.
In fact, I didn't even find out until years later while I was in the States.
"I find that very troubling in the world." Most recently seen on screen in Billy O' Brien's excellent horror/thriller I Am Not A Serial Killer (where he played opposite his wife), Geary left school at 16 with no qualifications before emigrating to New York.