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‘Kin is about family, it doesn’t glamorise crime,’ says star

Thommas Kane Byrne whose character ‘Fudge’ was recently killed off believes RTÉ’s latest gangland drama will ‘run and run’


Thommas Kane Byrne (right) who plays Frankie 'Fudge' Flynn chats to Frank Kinsella (Aidan Gillen) in Kin. Photo: Patrick Redmond

Thommas Kane Byrne (right) who plays Frankie 'Fudge' Flynn chats to Frank Kinsella (Aidan Gillen) in Kin. Photo: Patrick Redmond

Thommas Kane Byrne (right) who plays Frankie 'Fudge' Flynn chats to Frank Kinsella (Aidan Gillen) in Kin. Photo: Patrick Redmond

Thommas Kane Byrne’s character may have made his exit from Kin, but the actor believes the show is going to run and run.

The series, which was created by Peter McKenna and Ciaran Donnelly, has made an impact globally having been picked up by a number of international streaming services.

“All of Peter’s [McKenna] characters, they’re really just like onions. Every time you think you have them figured out something gets peeled away and another layer is revealed,” said Byrne who played the character of Francis ‘Fudge’ Flynn in RTÉ’s hit crime drama.

The series is set modern-day Dublin and follows the lives of the Kinsella crime family who have becomes embroiled in a lethal gang feud following the accidental death of Jamie Kinsella during a botched assassination attempt on his uncle Eric ‘Viking’ Kinsella (Sam Keeley).

Byrne’s character Fudge was Eric’s right-hand man, and also served as a loyal deputy to the family’s patriarch Frank (Aidan Gillen).

‘Fudge’ is the latest character to be killed off in the gangland thriller, which uncovers the true and ugly nature of organised crime, according to Byrne.

Canny fans of the show will have feared the worst for Fudge when he went on what looked like an innocuous errand that ended up with him lying dead over a steering wheel.

“I think really what sets Kin apart is that it’s really about the family and it doesn’t glamorise crime in any way. It’s about the repercussions of crime.

“It’s kind of a social commentary really because phones are so readily available. Social media and public shaming is such a huge part of society today, so I thought it was a great social commentary on Peter’s [McKenna] behalf.”

The use of mobile phones which Byrne refers to is highlighted in the scene where his character dies and then has videos taken of him to taunt the Kinsella mob.

Phones also played a big role several years ago in RTÉ’s hugely successful crime series Love/Hate. That series made household names of  Irish actors including Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and Barry Keoghan.

Byrne believes it is testimony to the quality of the Irish culture sector that programmes like Love/Hate can make such an impact, and he believes Kin can leave a similar impression.

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“When you look at the tiny little island, and the handprint we’ve made on the arts, with Wilde, Shaw and Joyce. I just have a good feeling about it. I think there’s going to be a bit of a legacy in a few years and yeah Kin will probably always follow me.”

Byrne said working with some of the cast’s big-name actors has been a “pinch me moment” for him and the authenticity of the show is down to the quality those actors bring to the set.

“I think that’s just a testament to the actors. I mean they call ‘cut’ and we’re all just chilling around set and then as soon as we’re back filming, it’s just boom they’re back into it. 

“I just remember how good an actor Sam [Keeley] was. It was the same performance in every single take.

"I think to do the best and to work with the best, there’s nothing more satisfying than someone making your performance better by making you step up by how good they are. Yeah, he’s the real deal that fella,” he added.

Byrne said he’s delighted to see the positivity towards the show, especially given the circumstances under which it was filmed and the effort  he said the crew made to keep the production on course during the pandemic.

He says the series is going to “run and run and run” and while he is disappointed to leave it so early, he is grateful to have played his part.

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