From Fair City to Lovely Leitrim

Alan Devine, the actor who plays Fair City’s troublesome Louie Gleeson said he is delighted he hasn’t been run out of the county yet, despite putting down roots here over five years ago.

Alan Devine, the actor who plays Fair City’s troublesome Louie Gleeson said he is delighted he hasn’t been run out of the county yet, despite putting down roots here over five years ago.

Devine’s much loved character Louie had an eventful time in Ireland’s favourite soap, before he was forced to leave under the glaring eyes of Carrigstown’s residents just last year. Although Alan has the same twinkling eyes as Louie Gleeson, he seems to be very far removed from his character. Louie lives just outside of Carrick-on-Shannon with his wife and two sons.

Alan moves between acting, decorating and painting to earn his crust. He is well known around Carrick for his involvement in U8 and U10 GAA training where he can be seen shouting encouragement from the sidelines. He is also setting up a new drama club in the town at the end of this month.

Alan who was born in County Galway in 1970, appeared in Glenroe during the 1990s as Ray O’Driscoll, who fled the country after he killed his brother Oliver in 1999. This storyline was one of the biggest storylines the show had in the 1990s.

His film roles include portraying the Irish criminal Gerry “The Monk” Hutch in the movie Veronica Guerin. He has received credit for work in several other films including, King Arthur, Nora, played the lead in the Irish movie Ghostwood.

He also made an appearance in The Tudors and he even appeared in TV commercials for Guinness and played the part of Tom Crean, the legendary Arctic explorer from County Kerry.

Devine’s real life is a far throw from Louie’s high flying life filled with affairs, a drug habit, battles with people, altar jilting and attempted kidnapping in Fair City.

The Devine family moved to Leitrim five years ago and he says he loves the “beautiful county” and the “amazing people.” His boys aged 8 and 6 are involved in a few sporting clubs locally and Alan said he is delighted with the many things to do in the area.

Alan told the Leitrim Observer he loved being in Fair City playing a “bad character.”

So will Louie be back on our screens? Although Alan wouldn’t divulge too much, he said it “has been left open for Louie to return.” He said it will be an “interesting challenge for the writers” to bring Louie back but there seemed to be a hint for fans to keep an eye out for some clues this Autumn.

Alan said he has often been called “Louie” on the streets, although he said it is usually all good fun, and he likes talking to fans, he said conversations can get heated after midnight, if someone doesn’t like Louie!

According to Devine, the acting scene in Ireland has been given a few boosts from English TV series taking advantage of the tax breaks here, but it can still be a difficult career to sustain. Alan said he hopes to start touring with a play later this year, but that will come after his new venture www.dramaclub.ie

The experienced actor is setting up a drama club in Carrick-on-Shannon on January 31 and hopes to get more young people interested in expanding their imaginations and boosting their confidence. Alan Devine’s contacts in the acting world will be invaluable to any young person who would like to move into that career.

Alan is excited about his new endeavour and said he sees a lot of potential in Leitrim kids, as the county has such a creative history. He believes the future needs confident people who can form extraordinary ideas and be able to present them in a coherent manner - and he says his drama club will help local children achieve this.

For more info see page 2 this week and www.dramaclub.ie