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Fair City chiefs were worried for safety of Will actor Cronin

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Will punches Cristiano in the stomach in Fair City

Will punches Cristiano in the stomach in Fair City

Will punches Cristiano in the stomach in Fair City

Fair City bosses were concerned about the safety of actor John Cronin, who plays the monstrous domestic abuser Will Casey in the popular soap.

They checked with the actor that he was not gett- ing flak from the public for playing the violent gay man who terrorises his partner Cristiano in a storyline that shocked fans.

Will battered Cristiano to a pulp in one episode before he fled and got hit by a car. The character is currently behind bars, but Cronin said he would soon be making a comeback.

"At the story's height, people in RTE were asking if I was getting a hard time, but the reaction I got was always very positive," he said.

"People would clock you straight away when you walk into a supermarket or on to a bus and they would say things, but it was always good and people were friendly.

"If there was an issue, RTE would look after you, but there wasn't.

"People who like the show really like it and have positive feelings for it and people who don't like it don't watch it.

HELLO

"Fair City is on so regularly that people have a relation- ship with it and they feel like they want to come over and say hello or get a picture.

"It's always been lovely, never negative. You get a lot of, 'Oh, it's you! You're a real b*****ks,' but it's all in fun.

"You notice when the storyline drops off and the show moves on that the recognition factor goes down very quickly.

"I know people found it difficult to watch because people love Cristiano. He has been in the show for over three years, so it was like watching a friend go through this ordeal."

Cronin can be seen on stage all this week in a new play, Restoration. He plays Dean, a worker in an inner- city community centre who is attacked and beaten by one of the youths he is trying to help.

"I'm the victim who is trying to be the adult but the trauma I've suffered makes it difficult," he said.

"My character has been more affected than he real- ises and things come out. Everything comes to a head for all the characters."

The play, at Dublin's Project Theatre, was written by Shaun Dunne and is being directed by Darren Thornton.