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Dean left fighting for his life as Carrigstown rocked by Christmas shooting

“It’s quite a shocking episode,” actor Michael Sheehan, who plays Dean, tells the Sunday World.
A shocked Dolores looks at Dean lying on the ground after being shot by a crazed Tyler

A shocked Dolores looks at Dean lying on the ground after being shot by a crazed Tyler

Eugene Masterson

THIS is the horrifying moment brave Dean Dowling is gunned down by crazed Tyler Munroe in dramatic scenes to be screened tonight on Fair City.

The manic therapist storms into The Station bar and targets Dolores Molloy and Pete Ferguson, pointing a loaded handgun at the terrified couple.

“It’s quite a shocking episode,” actor Michael Sheehan, who plays Dean, tells the Sunday World.

“Basically, Tyler comes into The Station and he is emotional and angry and a bit scattered. He comes in with the intention of shooting Dolores or Pete.

“Dean, who’s a good guy, a loyal guy, he gets in the middle of it and intervenes and he ends up the one getting shot and is left fighting for his life. So we leave Stephen’s Day [with] his life very much in the balance.”

Tyler was seen earlier in the week trying to land equally deranged Lucy Mallon — who he was supposedly giving therapy to — in trouble with the law for her killing of gangster Ritchie Lennon, with Lucy ending up on Carol Foley’s doorstep confessing to the murder and asking for a place to stay.

But when Lucy, who has had an obsession with Dolores for over a decade, eventually fled Carrigstown it emerged that she had left Richie’s watch behind in Carol’s.

“Tyler isn’t everything we are led to believe and himself and Lucy are in cahoots,” Michael confirms.

This is the first time Hot Pots cafe owner Dean has been left fighting for his life since his arrival in the show nearly 12 years ago.

“Dean has never been injured to this level of seriousness,” admits Michael (38).

“There was a period where he was doing bare knuckle boxing, where Robbie, the late Karl Shiels’ character, was betting big money and putting Dean into bare knuckle fights that he was out of his depth in really, the guys were too big or experienced and Dean ended up getting absolutely pounded.

“I think that was the closest to death that he had been previous to this.”

Dean is a bit of a Romeo in Carrigstown, having recently had a fling with ‘cougar’ Ger Lynch.

Dean is caught in the crossfire

Dean is caught in the crossfire

He has also in the past been involved with two sets of sisters, the Molloys — Caoimhe and Dearbhla — and the Doyles — Yvonne and Suzanne — as well as bedding Tracey McGuigan and Tessa Holloway down through the years.

“Dean is up there with Paul Brennan and Tommy Dillon in terms of the amount of women he’s been with and he’s definitely unlucky in love,” he laughs.

The Sunday World can reveal today for the first time that in real life Waterford man Michael recently got married.

“I got married there two months ago, Claire is her name,” he says. “She’s not a Waterford woman, I had to look further afield. We’ve no kids. I bought a house in Co Kildare two years ago, so I had the lockdown in the new house.

“We originally cancelled our wedding in 2020. Then we decided to pull the plug in the thick of lockdown. The hotel were very understanding, and we rescheduled for this year. We are together five or six years.”

Michael is from the Co Waterford village of Stradbally, which is located near Dungarvan.

“I’m all the time asked if it’s the Stradbally that’s associated with Electric Picnic, but I’ve never actually been to Stradbally in Co Laois,” he smiles.

Dean is shot by a crazed Tyler

Dean is shot by a crazed Tyler

“I think it’s a bit bigger than the one I’m from. My Stradbally is very, very small, small but beautiful.”

He’s a big music fan and is a devotee of Bruce Springsteen.

Michael initially studied to be a lawyer before trying his hand at acting and did a law degree in Wales and trained as a junior in London.

He has a country accent in real life compared to the Dublin one he uses on the show.

“I think in my auditions, one of my first scenes was with Dave Duffy,” he recollects. “I don’t know whether he was winding me up or what. It was my first time speaking on screen. This was when I first joined the show, he says, before imitating Duffy asking “what accent are you going to do? ‘Well I will do the Dublin one because they asked for it in the audition.

“You know man, you’re going to be tied to that for however long you’re going to be in the show. Are you sure you’re going to do it? I said yes. So I went for the Dublin accent in the first scene and I suppose I have to be consistent ever since.”

He also reveals that he started going grey at the age of 13 and dyed his hair black when he got the part in Fair City before allowing it to go to its natural colour today.

“I now regret dyeing it black as at 21 it would have been quite unique to have a head full of grey hair,” he admits.

When Dean was seeing Caoimhe over a decade ago he sent many hearts fluttering when topless pictures emerged of him on a dating app showing off his ripped torso, while he also shared a buff body when he lay in bed with just a rose while waiting for Ger.

“My costumes that were previously fitting me very well before lockdown were, when we went back in filming again, just a little bit tighter, shall we say,” he winks.

Michael was a proficient boxer when he was younger and also took up mixed martial arts when he moved to Dublin, being mentored by Conor McGregor’s trainer John Kavanagh in SBG gym on the Longmile road long before the arrival of ‘The Notorious”.

“My first cousin Peter Queally, he is in Bellator (MMA),” he explains.

“His dad and my mum are brother and sister. Peter used to live with me. It was nearly like Rocky. When he joined SBG I was there first and it was me who gave the word to John to get Peter signed up.

“When I was there was only about 30 of us. It was a very small gym. It was long before Conor was in the UFC or any of them. I was there alongside them trying to learn jujitsu.

“I was there when Conor was fighting in Offaly and Letterkenny and places like that for a few hundred euros. Both his Cage Warrior fights against Dave Hill and Ivor Buchinger. If you look at the YouTube footage you can see me and Peter in the front row as Conor is walking in. We were there before it all kicked off for him. He’s done well.

“I have a long history with all those guys. Obviously not any more because of age. You grow out of it.”

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