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‘Cian loves her — but he definitely has a devious side’

Fair City lovebirds Cian and Dearbhla are at loggerheads over Fur Coat-gate and there’s trouble ahead. Eugene Masterson talks to the actors at the centre of a love affair that might not survive Christmas

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Maria Oxley Boardman, who plays Dearbhla

Maria Oxley Boardman, who plays Dearbhla

Cian, played by Adam Weafer, starts to get worried when Dearbhla, play by Maria Oxley Boardman, begins an investigation on her own

Cian, played by Adam Weafer, starts to get worried when Dearbhla, play by Maria Oxley Boardman, begins an investigation on her own

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Maria Oxley Boardman, who plays Dearbhla

Sparks are set to fly in Fair City this Christmas — where it’s unlikely that troubled lovebirds Cian Howley and Dearbhla Dillon are going to be kissing under the mistletoe.

Dearbhla is still reeling after finding out that her devious boyfriend almost ruined her vegan food business by maliciously posting a picture of her online wearing a fur coat.

“He has definitely put his foot in it,” admits Adam Weafer, who plays Cian.

“I think, with him and Dearbhla, it’s a very kind of endearing relationship — it’s not your typical ‘girl runs after guy’ or ‘girl swans after guy and that’s the happy ending’ kind of thing. It’s two strong characters with their own beliefs, so to speak, and they are kind of stubborn and they hate being wrong.

“I definitely think he loves Dearbhla. I don’t think he’d waste his time with her if he wasn’t in love. But I think he took it the wrong way and then, a few glasses of wine... he made a great mistake, really.”

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Cian, played by Adam Weafer, starts to get worried when Dearbhla, play by Maria Oxley Boardman, begins an investigation on her own

Cian, played by Adam Weafer, starts to get worried when Dearbhla, play by Maria Oxley Boardman, begins an investigation on her own

Cian, played by Adam Weafer, starts to get worried when Dearbhla, play by Maria Oxley Boardman, begins an investigation on her own

Adam admits Cian has a Machiavellian streak to him after the fur-coat incident.

“I think he is definitely calculating; I think he is definitely devious,” he confirms. “I think there is a lot more to him than people see.

“And then when you see a kneejerk reaction like that — that he would do something kind of as vicious as that — even though he does everything to try and fix it, but it still goes to show that he has this kind of ego about him.

“I think it’s fair to say it’s going to be a bit rocky. I know that Cian is going to try and do everything in his power to brush this under the carpet and try and get rid of the whole thing. But, yeah, I think there’s a bit of a rocky storm ahead of them.”

Teacher Cian was already in Dearbhla’s bad books shortly after she started going out with him, when she found out Julie O’Connell had kissed him while she was his 15-year-old student.

Then Cian later found out that Dearbhla had a one-night stand with Damien Halpin.

“I think it was her reaction to Cian and Juliet — she was hurt by it,” he stresses. “And Dearbhla seems to have a reaction that maybe every time she gets hurt, she seeks comfort instantly instead of dealing with the pain itself.”

Maria Oxley Boardman, who plays Dearbhla, says Cian soon got over it.

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“I think that he forgave her because they were only starting to date each other, and then she did apologise and he thought, ‘It might be worth giving it a shot,’” she tells us.

“I think she is a really strong woman regardless, and her attitude towards sex is not one we see very often.

“What happened that day was she had a great day with Damien, and one thing led to another.”

But there could be more friction ahead between her and Cian.

“Even with Cian, they are all having a good time — I don’t think she really feels the need to kind of move anything to the next level,” she points out.

“I think a lot of the pushing for commitment comes from Cian and it will be interesting to see how they bridge that gap, because I think that she is obviously very avoidant and is definitely afraid of commitment.

“But I don’t think she places necessarily the same emotional importance on sex as she would on other things.”

Maria hails from Milltownpass in Co Westmeath and also works off-set as a pharmacist.

“It works quite well because acting is never a full-time job, and with pharmacy you can drift in and out a little bit,” she explains.

Maria lives in Dublin city centre with her long-term partner. “I have someone special in my life. He has been there for a long time,” she says.

Adam, who comes from Cabinteely in Co Dublin, was previously best known for playing the part of David Hennessy in Red Rock.

Asked if he has anyone special to kiss under the mistletoe, he laughs: “I’m very much my own lone-soldier wolf at the moment, a single man doing my own thing. I keep the head down and stay busy — it’s the smartest thing to do.”

  • Tune in to Fair City’s special extended episode on Christmas Day at 8.50pm on RTÉ One

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