Irish actor Gabriel Byrne has revealed that miniskirts led him away from the priesthood.

Byrne - who plays Dr Paul Weston in the HBO smash series "In Treatment" - was sent to England when he was just 11 to train to be a priest.

However, Byrne said he left the priesthood four and half years later because of his love of women.

"I went down to London during a break and we got on the bus and I walked up the stairs behind two girls in mini-skirts and that was the end of it for me," he said.

Byrne, who was talking on Irish TV at the weekend, also said he was stunned at the amount of drinking going on in Ireland.

"I think we've a huge problem in this country with alcohol and depression, they are often intertwined," Byrne said.

"I walked down Grafton Street a couple of months ago on a Saturday and it was scary beyond description."

"It's really sad to see young people vomiting in doorways".

"There is this plague of binge drinking where the idea is to get as out of it as you possibly can as quick as you can. That's alcoholism. Part of the disease is to remove yourself from reality as quickly as possible."

Gabriel Byrne: Says girls in miniskirts led him away from the priesthood