Dervla Kirwan on religion, aging and her family’s relationship to Michael Collins

A young looking Darwalla Kiran is on the other end of the Zoom camera at her home in Hampshire, looking fabulous for a woman who just recently turned 50 in October.

I can’t feel any different,” she replies in her smooth voice, a tone the famous Marks & Spencer TV cleverly chose to use in its commercials.

“Look, maybe I’m in denial, but I feel more energized, more enthusiastic and more confident, more optimistic than I did at 25 and I think that’s the best thing about aging, you You start to trust yourself too much.

“Life knocks you a little bit and you know you can bounce back and that stockpile of experiences is a ballast. You reach 50 and you go ‘Okay, I guess I can handle anything’ that has been thrown at me’ and of course now I’m praying to God and saying ‘Hubris is a terrible thing, please don’t test it’.

But no, I feel great. My birthday was very low key, obviously ’cause it’s covid. It was the whole family, and at the time I was working with some colleagues and that was it.”

Then he asked how she looked younger than her years.

“It’s funny. I think I got older a little bit because I realized that while I was away (filming the second RTÉ series) extinguish) – ‘I’m going to show you this- (she reaches for a box) – I realized I came back and bought a lot of face creams, obviously,” she smiles.

“I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t take drugs. I live a very healthy lifestyle and I take care of my skin, let’s keep it that way,” she said, looking at the camera.


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He is diplomatic about whether he has ever had Botox.

“I think Botox is like coloring your hair. Whoever wants to do it, you do what you want, but no comment,” she adds with a laugh.

Dubliner Dervala lives in their English countryside with her actor husband Rupert Penry-Jones and their two teenage children Peter and Florence, whom she notes have had to turn their lives around because of the pandemic.

“I think kids are great, they adapt fast to their situation,” she insists. ,

“He is disappointed. He got covid in the summer. He made a very good comeback. Ten days were not very good but he did come back.

“I didn’t get it. I’ve been vaccinated and I feel very lucky that I didn’t catch it.”

With the Omicron version now in full flow Dervla is realistic about the future.

“I think we have to move on with this,” she insists. “I don’t think they should be intimidating. I think they should take a more realistic calming approach to it. Less fear.”

When she hears that my new pet Bichon Frise’s puppy Hudson is getting a little distracted and asks to look at her, Dervala’s eyes moisten.

“Oh, she’s gorgeous,” she says. “I have to show you my dog. I think he’s gone for a walk.”

She jumps out of her seat and calls out his name, which sounds like some ruffles, but to no avail.

“He’s gone for a walk. He’s a fluffy white, gorgeous dog. I’m a fan of animals.

“My dog ​​died tragically during Blue Series 2. He was terrible. But he was too old, he was a beautiful border collie, we were with me for 16 years. He was terrible. I don’t understand people who Not loving dogs or cats, I don’t get it – I mean they add a lot to your life.”

Dervla is here today to talk about the new second series though. extinguish, which is starting this Sunday at RTÉ 1.

When the first season ended earlier this year, we saw Darvala’s matriarchal character Val Ahern end her relationship with her Danish boyfriend Karl and focus on their three daughters.

Her complicated family tree saw her daughter Jenny before meeting her husband Denise, whose daughter Anna was from a different relationship. They had a daughter, Grace.

In the first episode Denise was murdered by Alana with Rory (who was married to Anna) – who later died of cancer – in order to stop Alana (who was Rory’s first wife and mother of their two children). Became a fallen boy. is going to jail.

Still picking up the pieces after Dennis’ death and subsequent cover-up, Val’s world is shaken once again when a stranger comes to his door. The stranger introduces himself as the estranged son of Finn – Dennis, and his existence is an unwanted surprise to the family.

Left to grow up in foster care in Britain, Finn seeks to get to know his family, but his appearance coincides with a well-planned campaign against the family, as the lives of each of the Ahern daughters are targeted and exposed.

As Val’s daughters, initially hostile to Finn, begin to warm to him and invite him to their clan, a conflict between the girls and Val ensues.

Viewers will also see a blood-soaked flashback scene at Ahern’s house at the start of the new series, which may provide clues to the devastation that followed.

“All is not as it seems. But I think it is going to be quite shocking,” confirmed Darvala.

The series is filmed around Lahinch in Co Claire and the Dervala Chortles, when it is reported that the series is becoming a competition with one murder in one and possibly another in the second batch for the sleepy West of Ireland Haven. midsummer murders,

“Lahinch – ‘Welcome to Lahinch, residents 2,299… today’. Someone had a fabulous name, ‘Lahinch mob’, I thought it was fantastic,” she says.

Darwalla was extra cautious and remained in her own little bubble when shooting for the new series early last year.

“I was really looking,” she explains. “I figured if I got it it would really have a very negative impact on the whole filming schedule, because obviously I would have a two-week recovery process.

“I walked every day. I couldn’t go to the gym. Nothing was open anyway. So, I just worked out. I couldn’t go back (to England). I just stayed there and focused on the task at hand.” There was nothing I could do except concentrate, that’s what I had to focus on.”

She got to see her family in Churchtown, Dublin while she was here, and as a great-granddaughter of Michael Collins she once visited the site of his murder near Beel na Blyth (100th anniversary of his death) in Cork. Tells a humorous story about leaving. next year).

During the shooting of the film directed by Neil Jordan ondine In 2008 in Cork his driver decided to stop at the ambush site.

“I didn’t tell him I was related to Michael Collins, because you don’t know with people,” she recalls. “It turns out he was a huge fan. But I never told him. It must have been a specific day, birthday or anniversary. This guy then got very friendly and told me he had 19 pints the night before. And he was driving like a maniac. I was just thinking ‘That’s it, I’m never going to see my family again’ but we got there anyway. But I got so much on that connection Proud.”

When asked if she is religious, the frailty of life makes her think.

“I’m trying to figure it out,” she laughs. “I’m really trying to figure it all out. I’ll say like a lot of Catholics I’m not a very good Catholic (smiling). But I’d love to find out what this experience is all about before I die. “

She reflects more when she is told that perhaps she is an ‘ए la carte Catholic’, in picking and choosing what is appropriate for herself.

“I think I probably burned down the menu a long time ago,” she replies playfully. “It just doesn’t work for me, but I don’t want to disrespect anyone’s religious point of view. But there must be something more to it, and I’m sure there is more.”

series 2 extinguish Starting on Sunday 9th January at 9:30 PM on RTE One and RTE Player – the series runs for 6 weeks till 13th February. Series 1 extinguish Available on RT player.