FAIR City will tackle the theme of the homelessness crisis this Christmas, as two characters from Carrigstown fall on hard times over the festive season.
Mother and son Melanie and Alex are faced with the prospect of not having a roof over their heads as Christmas looms, with the desperate mum in dire straits as she tries to ensure they have shelter on Christmas Day.
Actress Nyree Yergainharsian, who plays Melanie, told the Herald the role had opened her eyes to the reality of the issue.
She said her character in the RTE show had to do everything in her power to protect her son from the plight of homelessness.
Nyree said she realised it was a reality for so many people that they may only be one pay cheque away from losing their home.
“It’s everywhere you turn now, and it feels not far away from possibility,” she said.
“I think the strength of it is that she is a woman who is working two jobs. She is a single mother, there is no kind of history of homelessness, no substance abuse. There is nothing that we would historically have attributed to homelessness.
“I think that is a massive reality of what is happening now. It doesn’t have to be somebody who has grown up in poverty in order to get to this point.
“I think what is also important is that she maintains a very clear position for her son. He has always got a bed to sleep in, in somebody’s house, and she prioritises her kid in a way a woman would as much as possible.
“It’s someone who has been working hard and trying her best, and she can’t keep up with what is happening and the level of escalation in rents.”
Her on-screen son is played by young Dublin actor Adam Karim.
The ambitious 17-year-old is balancing his acting career with his Leaving Cert and confessed he did not think many of his peers were aware just how critical the crisis was.
“I don’t think they think about being homeless,” he said.
“Being able to play the role of Alex being homeless brought to life that feeling of what it could be like to be homeless at a young age.”
He described the storyline as “impactful”.
While the Christmas episode is still just under two weeks away, tonight’s episode may leave viewers reeling as things come to a head with Robbie and Carol as they share a passionate moment together, despite Robbie’s relationship with Hayley.
Hayley informs Carol of her plan to go away with Robbie for Christmas, but Carol tells her she will never be enough for Robbie.
Robbie steps in when Carol makes a swipe for Hayley after she brings up Trigger.
Carol lays into Robbie for telling Hayley about her past, but they both give in to temptation when Robbie kisses her.