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Reality tv Fair City's 'drug running' actors says 'drugs are in every corner of Ireland'

"There's people using and involved in drugs in every single town in the country and it's just horrible"


Stephen and Geoff as Zak and Tommy in Fair City

Stephen and Geoff as Zak and Tommy in Fair City

Stephen and Geoff as Zak and Tommy in Fair City

Ireland is awash with drugs on the streets of cities and towns.

That's the opinion of Fair City actors Geoff Minogue and Stephen O'Leary, who play father and son Tommy and Zak Dillon in the hit soap.

The pair are currently caught up in a terrifying drug-running racket, where Zak was roped into dealing, and when he turned himself in to protect his family ended up being beaten up in jail.

Viewers will soon see tormented Tommy source a gun in a bid to get gangster Richie Lennon off their backs.

Geoff, who lives in Stillorgan, south Dublin, admits he had taught his adult daughters Ash and Ciara, who are both in caring jobs, to be wary of drugs.

"We have discussions. I think it's in every town in the country, it's not exclusive to Dublin," he says about current drug problems.

"There's people using and involved in drugs in every single town in the country and it's just horrible. There is always going to be an associated criminal element to that because of the misuse of drugs.

"A lot of the actors live in different towns and they say in every one of those towns there's an unfortunate group. They are victims and addicts, they become addicted to drugs, and there's a gang on the streets, so it is literally everywhere.

"Even with Ciara, she's in midwifery, you'd see people being brought in, even in a pregnant stage. It's tragic, how do you change that culture, that mindset - I don't know, I wish I did."

He says parents would do anything to protect their kids.

"From my own personal perspective, you don't have that control, all you can have is a trust," he insists.

"Wherever you brought your kids and whatever you taught them up to that point is enough ... that they have enough savvy to make that decision themselves. But you're not there, you can't make those decisions when they're out and about and you have to just trust.

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"For some people that's going to work. For some people unfortunately it's not. Then it brings you back to the story [in the soap] what do you do to protect your kids, what will you do?"


Corkman Stephen plays Zak

Corkman Stephen plays Zak

Corkman Stephen plays Zak

Stephen (27), hails from Rathcormac, near Fermoy Co Cork. "It just goes to show how easily someone can get dragged into it," he says.

"Unfortunately, anything can change so quickly for young people my age, one wrong decision and they can be dragged into something that they shouldn't be. I feel lucky to have worked on the storyline because it just goes to show what people have going on and how easy it is for young lads to get involved in this type of thing."

Thankfully, Stephen has not seen too much of a drug problem in his home area.

"If it has been in Fermoy or Rathcormac, I've managed to stay away from it," he says.

But he lives in Terenure in Dublin with his girlfriend and has been the victim of street trouble himself.

"I've had some trouble myself walking home on nights out in Dublin, the odd time you just bump into the wrong people," he reveals.

In Fair City, Sash Bishop, who had been vehemently anti-drugs due to her mother's habit, has also now been forced into dealing and Tommy becomes desperate and goes to Kilkenny to get a shotgun to protect them from Richie.

"We know that Tommy disappears for a couple of days down to Kilkenny and he returns with a little shotgun. What his intentions are with that shotgun, people are going to have to make up their own minds," says Geoff.

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