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Tears for piers Katherine Kelly reveals she welled up after learning her dad emigrated from Dun Laoghaire

He said ‘that’s the pier Kate’. It sort of chokes me to even talk about it. I have this image of them, he was a little lad and they’ve all got suitcases and off they went. And that was my view every morning”

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Katherine Kelly (Ian West/PA)

Katherine Kelly (Ian West/PA)

Katherine Kelly (Ian West/PA)

Katherine Kelly has told how she welled up when she took a picture of Dun Laoghaire pier and sent it to her father – who then told her it was the exact spot he had emigrated from Ireland.

The actress spent several months in Ireland last year filming new ITV drama series The Innocent.

“We actually filmed most of it in Ireland,” she said on ITV’s This Morning earlier today.

“The Wicklow mountains are very similar to the lake district, you will see when you watch it next week

“So Ireland went into lockdown quite a bit before us. So we were supposed to film in March. Then I arrived in September. We were one of the first shows to start. My friends hadn’t gone back on to set yet.

“It was strange and we felt a huge responsibility to make sure that we got to the end and when we arrived in Ireland we had to self isolate for two weeks , so I had to sit in a hotel room for two weeks.”

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Katherine on ITV’s This Morning

Katherine on ITV’s This Morning

Katherine on ITV’s This Morning

Katherine (41), who became a household name starring as Becky McDonald in Coronation Street, was stuck in a hotel for most of her stay.

“I was in this beautiful hotel,” recalls Katherine, sporting a new pink hairstyle. “There were hardly any hotels open at that point because again Ireland had gone into lockdown. So they really looked after me.”

Katherine’s family emigrated from Ireland in the early 1950s and used Dun Laoghaire as their ferry port.

“It was such a shock, because I knew that my dad had left with his parents, my grandparents, from Carlyle pier in the early 1950s, they emigrated to the north of England,” she explains.

“So the story I got from my granddad was about Kingstown. I hadn’t clocked that the name had gone back to its Gaelic name of Dun Laoghaire, and I was walking down the pier and I took a picture of the plaque which was in Irish and I said ‘wish you were here’, because of course any opportunity to get back to Ireland he would have come if he had been allowed..

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“He said ‘that’s the pier Kate’. It sort of chokes me to even talk about it. I have this image of them, he was a little lad and they’ve all got suitcases and off they went. And that was my view every morning.”

Katherine appears in The Innocent on ITV next week, which will be screened by Virgin Media in the Autumn.

The series is about a woman and a crime she did not commit.

The programme starts after her period in prison.

“There’s no flashback,” she points out. “You never see her in prison and you never see her before all this happened.

“I love all the research anyway, but I felt a real responsibility anyway to make sure that as an audience you really feel that trauma.

“She has been in prison for five years for a crime that she didn’t commit. She has probably been isolated for her own safety as well from all the other prisoners, so how do you bring that to screen because she never really talks about it as well.”

She adds: “She is very forward thinking, she wants to get her life back. So it just has to be there. There is a lot of stuff out there, there are a load of books and some great documentaries, so I just kind of drenched myself in all of that.

She has got this innocent verdict but she has been tried by the press, with all these salacious stories, saying that not only had she murdered this boy but she had an affair with him, which never actually came into the trial.”

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