Monday 18 June 2018

'Fair City' cast hail tragic former colleague O'Neill

The late Alan O’Neill (left) on the ‘Fair City’ set with fellow star Keith Duffy
The late Alan O’Neill (left) on the ‘Fair City’ set with fellow star Keith Duffy

Ryan Nugent

Former co-stars of Irish actor Alan O'Neill said they were "shocked" and "desperately sad" after hearing of his death.

O'Neill (47) died on Wednesday in LA.

He had a starring role in hit US show 'Sons of Anarchy' but was best known to Irish audiences for playing Keith McGrath in 'Fair City' from 2006-2012.

Long-time co-star during his time in Carrigstown, Maclean Burke - who plays Damien Halpin - said the news was "desperately sad".

"We are all shocked. I worked with Alan for about 10 years and we had some good times.

"He was always fun, great fun. He was very upbeat. He was always very fun to be around on set."

Claudia Carroll, who plays Nicola Prendergast on the series, said she was shocked by the news and also mentioned fellow 'Fair City' actor Stephen Swift (44) who passed away on Tuesday.

"I just heard the news and I am utterly shocked, between that and Stephen Swift," she said.

"There are no words. I am shocked. It's just sad to hear of anyone young passing. Life can be very cruel sometimes."

Actor Wesley Doyle, known to soap viewers as Doug Ferguson, starred alongside O'Neill in the series for many years. Their characters worked in the Carrigstown garage.

Doyle said acting alongside Alan was an education.

"I started out in 'Fair City' when I was 15 and a little Ballymun-er - I felt like a sore thumb on set but he always made me feel comfortable," Doyle said.

"There was no nicer person you could work with. He was like a mentor to me and I learnt a lot from him."

Irish Independent

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