Wednesday 21 August 2019

'He would turn the most mundane days in to a carnival - it was a privilege to know him' - Fair City co-star Aisling O'Neil pays tribute to Karl Shiels

Actor Karl Shiels who played Robbie in Fair City. Photo: Collins
Actor Karl Shiels who played Robbie in Fair City. Photo: Collins
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Fair City actress Aisling O’Neill has praised her late co-star Karl Shiels saying it was ‘privilege to know him’.

Shiels, who portrayed wheeler-deeler Robbie Quinn, died unexpectedly of natural causes on Sunday night at the age of 47.

Aisling O’Neill played his on screen partner Carol for several years.  

She said she loved him dearly, and spoke of his passion and warmth.  

Aisling O'Neill
Aisling O'Neill

“I first met Karl when I was in my twenties, he was such a dynamic, charismatic man. We did a Christmas panto together in 2007 out in the Helix, and then in 2014 he entered Fair City and I knew the minute that he had the audition that the role was his,” she said.

“What Karl brought to set every day was incredible, he would turn the most mundane days in to a carnival; we had so much fun. He was a kind, innately intelligent man with such passion for his work and it was a privilege to have known him.

“He was a very close and decent friend and we all loved him dearly. My heart goes out to his partner Laura, his children and their mother Dearbhla.”

Rebecca Grimes who plays Hayley and starred alongside Karl described him as “as a rockstar and a gentleman”.

“Karl was one in a million. I met him first when I was 17 when we worked on A Little Bit of Blue. He was so considerate and generous to me as a young actor starting out, I’ll never forget his kindness.

“It was a privilege to get to work so closely with him again on Fair City. It’s so hard to sum up Karl and his spirit in words, he was magic. A rockstar and a gentleman. The world is a much poorer place without him.”

Amy Huberman also paid tribute saying he was an “immensely talented actor” and “a dynamo of a person with so much spirit and fun”.

The former electrician's acting career included appearances in the movie Batman Begins and the BBC crime drama Peaky Blinders.

He is survived by his partner Laura Honan, twin daughters Iseabel and Saoirse, and their mother Dearbhla.

His funeral will take place this Thursday at Church of Our Lady Mother of the Church in Castleknock.

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