Wednesday 21 August 2019

Love Island's Greg O'Shea granted leave from show to attend grandmother's funeral

It was a first for the series

Greg O'Shea makes his entrance on Love Island
Greg O'Shea makes his entrance on Love Island
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Irish Love Island contestant Greg O'Shea was granted leave from the ITV2 show to attend his grandmother's funeral.

His grandmother Monica, from Raheen in Limerick, died on Friday in a nursing home in Dublin just after Greg had entered the Majorcan villa.

Greg's father Niall O'Shea told Limerick Live 95 that the producers had been very accommodating, changing their schedule to allow Greg to fly home for the day.

"It was unprecedented for them, it had never happened them before," he said.

He added, "They were brilliant, I have to say.  They were very good and possibly some of it was a little bit to do with the bad press they had before the start of the show.

"They have been very facilitiating and very good to the family, I have to say."

Mr O'Shea is referring to criticism of the show and it aftercare policy following the deaths by suicide of two former contestants, Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis.

ITV2 introduced an increased aftercare package offering up to 14 months counselling for former contestants as well as access to a therapist on site during their time in the villa.

Greg's departure for a day is highly unusual given producers aim to keep contestants oblivious to the outside world and how they, and their fellow islanders, are being perceived by the public.

However, Greg was a latecomer to the show so he already had some knowledge of how the public felt about certain characters.

His departure from the show comes days after fellow contestant Anton was forced to take time out due to illness.

Virgin Media, which airs Love Island in Ireland, released a statement today, saying: "Owing to a bereavement, at the wishes of his family, Greg was away from the villa for a day to attend a funeral. Everyone at Love Island extends their sympathies to Greg and his family and we have since welcomed him back to the villa."

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