Buy into the drama

FAIR CITY actress Rachel Sarah Murphy is selling her home — although it is nowhere close to the capital, where she earns her daily crust.

Rachel, who plays the feisty and die-hard Jo Coughlan in the successful, long-running RTÉ TV soap, is based in the Co Cork rail-commuter town Cobh.

She shares the Cobh bolthole with Daisy, a beagle brought back from Spain three years ago, and is selling up in Cobh to make a move to a nearby country setting.

She has a family-inherited love of buildings her mother and sister are auctioneers, while her uncle is an architect in Kinsale and has renovated several houses to date.

The latest job of work is this three-storey home on Cobh's hilly Westview, the so-called 'Deck of Cards' because of the way the terraced houses are stacked on one another.

Rachel has lived in Dublin, Kinsale, New York, Spain, South Africa for a period and the UK as well, and bought this Cobh townhouse two years ago in need of renovation.

It has now been dry-lined, and replastered externally, has central heating, new bathroom and kitchen, new doors and floors, a decorative make-over and the actress's set-piece is completed with lush drapes in swags and tails, ideal for making grand dramatic entrances from.

Cobh has some of the country's most attractive urban architecture, and Victorian Westview is one of the most photographed vistas by visitors.

"It is the real Fair City," chorus Rachel and her sister Johanna Murphy, acting as selling agent for the finished project. Johanna sold number 3 to her sibling when it was in need of work, and now is back selling as a finished project and enjoyed home, with a €245,000 price guide for a three-bed, three-storey house.

Cobh has been Rachel's base for the last few years when she's not been filming. She's been with Fair City for four years, and future career options include continuing acting, directing, digital editing, and writing.

Rachel is currently working on two books, one on adoption in the 1950s, the other a lighter tale, a love story with its roots in South Africa, where her mother Victoria Murphy and her uncle Richard Rainey hail from.

She started out acting at age 15 with the Everyman and the Loft, left to do a degree in New York at age 20 at the US Academy of Dramatic Arts, and returned to Ireland in her mid 20s.

She played Lady Underwood in George Bernard Shaw's Heartbreak Hotel "everyone says I based my character on my mother Victoria," she laughs and a nude scene in the Elephant Man as Mrs Kendall brought her a role of some fame.

"If I had known how much work I'd get out of doing one nude scene, I would have done it ages ago," says Rachel.

Ironically, after baring all, the next job (and straight before the Fair City casting) that Rachel got was with BBC Northern Ireland on radio.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

Lunchtime
News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up
Revoiced
Newsletter

Our Covid-free newsletter brings together some of the best bits from irishexaminer.com, as chosen by our editor, direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up