Blood and bruises on fair city carol's big day
Fair City will be extended to an hour-long special tonight as viewers see dramatic scenes of violence leading up to Carol Meehan's wedding to fiance Robbie.
Her father Trigger stoops to a new low in a bid to ruin her big day, even turning to physical violence just to try and throw a spanner in the works.
Actress Aisling O'Neill, who plays Carol, said she had to "dig deep" to portray an abuse survivor in the hit RTE soap.
The actress revealed that while she found the scenes difficult to film, she was bowled over by the reaction from fans.
A few weeks ago, viewers saw her evil father Trigger returning to Carrigstown, causing her to relive painful memories of being abused by her dad's friend Mika when she was 11 years old.
"You do have to dig deep into yourself and people you know and stories you've heard. That's as much as you can do," she said.
"You're an actor so you have to draw on what you've learnt and what's inside you and experiences that you've heard.
"I find filming the scenes very draining and I was delighted they received such praise. The writing was fantastic and myself and Karl Shiels (Robbie) work very well together and it was a safe environment. So it was a combination of the writing and directing that made it work so well."
She also said it was great fun dressing up as a bride in the double wedding that included actress Kerri Ann (Jenny Dixon) and Deco.
"Apart from all the drama leading up to it, it was a very beautiful, romantic day. We all had so much fun filming it. The wedding itself has just been a joy to shoot," she said.
One of the soap's longest- running characters, Aisling said she relishes getting her teeth stuck into such a multi-layered woman.
"As a character, Carol is so layered and she's developing all the time and progressing as a woman, so it's always a joy to play her as she always keeps things interesting.
"She's a real human being that goes through so many things, so as an actress, I'm very blessed to have a character like that to play."
Speaking about the return of Trigger, she said it sparks a very dark period in Carol's life.
"He's her nemesis. There is this suspected child abuse going on by his friend and she has covered it up her whole life, so he's this man who has controlled her, even though he hasn't been in her life.
"He's a destructive man, a narcissist, and he wants to ruin her day by any means he can.
"But her personality has always been so driven, that's how she has survived. This was meant to be the best day of her life and she's determined she won't let him ruin it," she said.