Kieran Foley

Glued to RTÉ’s whodunnit series ‘Smother’?

Viewers will of course recognise Waterford’s Carrie Crowley in the role of the main character’s sister, Mairead.

However, there is another Déise connection among Carrie’s co-stars. James O’Donoghue, who plays troubled teenager Calum, was born into a Waterford thespian family.

The young actor’s mother, Ruth (née Coughlan), hails from Lower Newtown and is no stranger to the stage, having starred in numerous Theatre Royal productions. Ruth was herself inspired by her late father, Frank Coughlan, an acclaimed actor, both in theatre and on the silver screen.

On the other side of James’ family, the acting tradition skipped a generation. His father, Gavin, who went to Waterpark, opted for sports but Gavin’s father, Frank O’Donoghue of Tramore, was, in his younger days, a prominent player in the Waterford Dramatic Society. Prior to ‘Smother’, James had roles in other RTÉ productions, including ‘Hardy Bucks’ and ‘Callan’s Kicks’. Most notably, from 2012 to 2017, he played Jo and Dermot’s young son, Ben, in ‘Fair City’. He has also appeared in productions at the Gate and Abbey theatres.

The 17-year-old is now in 5th year in Dublin and is looking forward to the end of lockdown to be able to visit his relations in Tramore and Waterford including his Granduncle, Mayor Davy Daniels!