Sunday 25 January 2015

Mags bows out of Fair City due to illness

VETERAN: Joan Brosnan Walsh, who has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease, was given a send-off by the cast of Fair City

Fair City star Joan Brosnan Walsh is to leave the soap after 20 years of playing Mags Kelly.

Joan made the decision after being diagnosed with the muscle-wasting condition, motor neurone disease, last year.

The veteran actress, now in her 60s, said: "I loved the character of Mags, foil to Charlie's shenanigans and I particularly enjoyed her strong relationships with, for example Dolores, Rita, Dermot and Jo. I really enjoyed playing her."

Wise, warm and sensitive, Mags is confidante to all in Carrigstown.

Motor neurone disease is a degenerative condition which destroys the cells that control voluntary muscles and affects speaking, walking, breathing, swallowing and general movement.

Joan's Fair City colleagues yesterday gave her a celebratory send-off and praised her role in the show over the years.

Dave Duffy, who plays taxi boss Leo Dowling, said: "Joan was terrific to work with. Some of the best scenes I ever did were with Joan.

"It is like a small community here and it's always sad when someone leaves who was part of it".

He described how Joan had continued working as long as she could. "We gave her a terrific send-off. We had champagne and flowers for her and a bit of a party in McCoy's pub".

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