STARSTRUCK lovers and seedy trysts; Carrigstown has been privy to it all! Below is but a taster of some of the more memorable bunk-ups.
We could just type “Paul Brennan and yer wan, Paul Brennan and herself, Paul Brennan and every one else he’s “lit up like a Christmas tree” – but sure where would it end?! Fret not; Mr. Brennan’s list of conquests will feature but we must leave room for the rest, such as…
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10. SHELLEY O’CONNOR
You may be exclaiming “who?”, but let’s refresh your memory. Not only was she one of the (many) women to turn Harry Molloy’s head, devastating her friend Dolores, Shelley (Hilary Reynolds) then had a string of subsequent flirtations including Donal, Jerry, Tommy…
While Shelley would invariably deny she set out to destroy anyone, she didn’t possess the level of manipulativeness of one Lucy Mallon. Not content with having an affair (and a child) with her father-in-law-to-be, (oh, Harry), Wayne’s fiancee also waged psychological warfare on Dolores.
9. THE DASTARDLY DILLONS
Tommy Dillon (Geoff Minogue) is a fan of throwing himself about like nobody’s business, but ex-wife ‘Judy’ (Catherine Byrne) keeping it in the family was a step too far. Lord only knows how many women Tommy was with in Kilkenny, while playing dutiful husband to Dr Judy…
To convey just how prolific Tommy was; while on a jaunt to The Ploughing Championships (apt) in 2011 with then-lover Jo Fahey, he bumped into Shelley. Wistfully recalling old times, Shelley gave him her number.
When Judith realised the depths of her husband’s infidelities, is it any wonder she hooked up with his brother, Luke?
Unfortunately for the latter, he died in a battle for Dr Judy, literally stuck between a rock and a hard place.
8. SANDIE & DEAN DOWLING
Upon discovering her hubby was engaged in extramaritals, Sandie bedded her stepson. As is customary in Soapland, the fun didn’t end there with the start of the usual WHO’STHEDADDY?! story line. The baby was Shannon, and Leo turned out to be her Da but he wouldn’t take Sandie back.
7. SASH & LAURA
Sash Bishop (Stephanie Kelly) and Laura Halpin’s (Liana O’Cleirigh) relationship was a rounded depiction of 21st century Dublin. The pair seemed a good match, hopping each other in gym changing rooms and supporting each other. And then, the elephant wandered in… Sash wanted kids, Laura didn’t. Laura started wearing the face off other girls. Fin.
6. DAN, CAROL, ROBBIE & AOIFE
First, Carol (Aisling O’Neill) was with Dan (while he was dating Yvonne Doyle), and then his best mate from the army, Robbie Quinn (the incomparable Karl Shiels), swaggered into her life. She fell in love with Robbie, they wedded, and then Karen O’Neil (Kate Gilmore) came into their lives. Carol was allergic, convinced Karen was after Robbie. Little did she know that Karen sought Robbie as she believed he was her father.
She was the daughter of Robbie’s first love, Aoife O’Neil (Lesley Conroy), but he wasn’t Karen’s father. Rather, Aoife had been raped by Dan all those years ago. See, everything comes full circle…Despite their ups and downs, and the blondes in between, Robbie and Carol were a match made in the stars, their on-screen chemistry clear for all to see. Their union will be missed.
5. BELA DOYLE & LINDA
Oh, Bela (Jim Bartley). He put wife Rita (Jean Costello) through the wringer, what with him being a “rogue, fond of a bit of skirt.” Said fondness led to an illicit affair with Linda, and a child, who later died. Rita threw him out but their union endured, making them the Irish/slightly more miserable version of Corrie’s Jack and Vera.
4. MONDO, DECCO & KERRI-ANN
Most of the carry on took place on Chez Bishop’s now traumatised cream couch. It led to another WHO’STHEDADDY plot arc. While Kerri-Ann (Jenny Dixon) was married to Decco (Dave Sullivan), she’d held a candle for her ‘Raymohnd’ (George McMahon).
When you think about it, Melanie did well not to be killed by Kerri-Ann in a jealous rage. Instead, she saved all that for poor Karen O’Neill. Do spare a thought for the cream couch though, it’s been privy to all sorts – clandestine sex, two stabbings, Decco’s feet…
3. BOB & RENEE
We had to have a real life love affair in here. Actors Bryan Murray and Una Crawford O’Brien first became firm friends on the set of Fair City, when Bob Charles landed on Carrigstown Road in 2005. It took the sparkly magic of You’re A Star to help both actors realise that maybe they should be lovers in real life.
Read more: Fair City’s biggest love story happened behind the scenes with actors Una Crawford-O’Brien and Bryan Murray
2. KAY & MALACHY
At the time, it was scandalous to see a Catholic priest give up his calling for a woman.
True, there had been more than a couple real-life comparisons, but to have it beamed into your sitting room of an evening under the banner of entertainment was beyond the pale for some. Probably didn’t stop them from tuning in, however.
1. PAUL BRENNAN AND….
Bleedin’ anyone with a pulse – apart from Carol, that is (make it happen, lads). Right. Grab yisserselves a tea and something sweet because this is going to take aaaages.
• Bernie Kelly (Ger Ryan): Ah, the first episode of Fair City. He was in love, about to propose to Charlie and Mags’ daughter, Bernie. He’d thumbed through a catalogue for a ring. Then she couldn’t make lunch with him… or go for a drink with him after work – so his only option was to crack on with Copeland House Canteen totty, Annie.
• Jane Black (Rachel Pilkington)… We’re not exactly sure when this bunk-up happened, but it resulted in son Callum, who made himself known to Paul in 2013.
• Nicola Prendergast (Claudia Carroll)… Their mutual love of money and ego wasn’t to last, resulting in Paul having an affair with the eldest of the Doyle daughters, Helen – when Nicola was pregnant with Oisin. He’s sound like that.
• Helen Doyle (Kira Carroll)… They’d been enjoying illicit fumblings for some time, before Paul felt compelled to fling himself down the aisle during Helen’s wedding to Mike Gleeson. Being a subtle sort, Paul grabbed her hand and hauled her away. Helen gave Paul his first daughter, Rachel, before being hit by a car.
• Fiona Piggott (Amelia Crowly)… She got herself hitched to a wealthy businessman, James Piggott, before deciding to have an affair with Paul. James, dying of cancer, planned to cut Fiona out of his will, so she suffocated him with a pillow.
• Niamh Cassidy (Clelia Murphy)… She became his wife in 2008 and his financial flayer almost a decade later.
• Yvonne Doyle (Ciara O’Callaghan)… While it wasn’t your average deep and meaningful affair, it did result in Paul’s second daughter, Ruth.
• Hayley Collins (Rebecca Grimes)… Behold the affair to force Niamh over the edge, leading to Paul’s total ruination in the sponds department.
• Farrah Phelan (Caroline Harvey)… Yep, random. Niamh had only recently left him for young Michael, he probably felt compelled to even the score…
And that brings us seamlessly to Paul’s greatest love affair of all. The one mistress he will always respect, adore, and make room for. No, not the new and improved 2019 variation of Fiona Piggott… rather, his longest standing love affair is with cold hard cash, baby. And unlit Christmas trees.
Read more: From Fair start to City slicker: The evolution of Fair City over 30 years
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