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*Dervla Kirwan. 

SMOTHER’s leading lady has said all involved in the RTÉ drama which was filmed in North-West Clare have “raised the game” for its second series.

Dervla Kirwan leads the cast of Smother as the complex matriarch Val Ahern, a role she has relished exploring. The second series of the thriller begins on RTÉ ONE on Sunday night at 9:30pm.

Twists and turns much like the roads of North Clare traversed were ever-present in series one following the death of her on-screen husband Denis Ahern played by Stuart Graham.

On what to expect from Sunday night, Dervla teased, “More intrigue, more unravelling of the secrets and the lies”. She added, “We’ve raised the game and it’s quite an adrenalised show this season, I think we will have people tuning in. I hope we won’t let them down and I hope we attract a whole new following”.

Playing the part of Val has been a role the Dublin actress has relished. With a career in the industry spanning over three decades, she said “perseverance” has been the most important attribute she has brought to the table.

Speaking to Baz Ashmawy on RTÉ Radio One, Dervla outlined, “I’m a 50-year-old woman and here at last was a substantial, fully formed, beautifully written, by our writer Kate O’Riordan, female lead that was complex and not two-dimensional and really intriguing, and full of secrets.”

“I’m stubborn as a mule! I really am. I think perseverance is a great quality that I have. You must never give up. You can diversify but you must never give up”. She continued, “It’s so complicated. I was just determined, you have to be determined no matter what field you enter into not to let individuals grind you down. That’s really the big lesson I can learn so far at the age of 50. Just don’t give up – keep going”.

Kirwan added, “Knock and rejection can be very tough so you have to find a way to counterbalance that. A career goes through great highs and great lows so there’s a slight polar quality to it, so you have to find another area that gives you great grounding and great common sense. I feel like I’ve survived a lot. I’m not dead yet. I have plenty more years ahead of me! I have loads of ambition, drive, hunger and curiosity”.

Now based in the UK, Dervla admitted that the pandemic has been challenging. “I’ve found it very difficult to keep my joy. That’s a battle, to find your happiness, to keep your gratitude and to keep it real”.

Her family home in the countryside has helped in this regard, “I love going home and closing the door and having a dose of reality where no one gives a damn about who I am and quite frankly neither do I. I love work but I’m not seduced by status at all because that is taken away in the blink of an eye”.


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