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Drew Blue Phelim Drew to play role of troubled priest Fr Liam Plunkett in Fair City

People will relate to this character I think. Underneath it all I think he’s got good skin,’ says actor

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Actor Phelim Drew will take over the role of Fr Liam Plunkett. Photo: Beta Bajgart

Actor Phelim Drew will take over the role of Fr Liam Plunkett. Photo: Beta Bajgart

Actor Phelim Drew will take over the role of Fr Liam Plunkett. Photo: Beta Bajgart

Phelim Drew, son of The Dubliners singer Ronnie Drew, is set to surprise viewers as he takes over the role of a troubled priest on Fair City tomorrow.

Originally from Greystones, Co Wicklow, Phelim says the opportunity came about “out of the blue”.

“It was a really nice surprise that couldn’t have come at a better time,” he said.

Phelim, who has been filming for two weeks now, said it’s a pace of working that he has never done before on television.

“It’s quite fast – they can film so much in a day,” he said. “It’s a challenge, but it’s a great challenge.”

Phelim will take over the part of Fr Liam Plunkett, a priest that is focused on an outreach programme for boys from troubled backgrounds, and Phelim says his character is “very relatable”.

“People will relate to this character I think. Underneath it all I think he’s a good skin, he’s a good person. He gets himself into trouble sometimes because he says what he thinks and he’s not afraid of a bit of a fight.

“He’s a really interesting character because on the one hand he’s an ordained priest, on the other hand he has quite a troubled past.

“He came from a disadvantaged background himself and battled addictions – his wife passed away and he reacted badly to that.

“He turned to the church as a means of reinventing himself.”

The character is not new to Carrigstown and was previously played by Aiden Kelly in March 2020. Phelim says the recasting will be “slightly different but not too much”.

“Each individual actor brings their own character to the role and makes it slightly different. I would hope that I’m bringing my own choices and my own experience,” he said.

In the RTÉ soap, we learn that Ger is thrown by seeing Liam upon his return to Carrigstown, and that the characters have a history.

“Even though they’re around the same age, he seems to have been around the dodgy side of things more than she was,” Phelim said.

“They were great friends – there is that connection there”, but “we’ll have to wait and see” if that connection is rekindled.

Phelim says his character “starts to form relationships with people like Haley and Carol”.

When we last saw Liam, Carol Foley had taken a shine to him and only just discovered that he was a priest as he does not wear a collar.

Phelim’s wife Sue Collins was part of the Fair City cast in December 2020, as Erica’s mother Teri, but she won’t be returning as her character died.

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Irish Independent


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