RTE Smother star Dervla Kirwan tells of major mistake on great granduncle Michael Collins’ grave

Dervla Kirwan in Smother

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Irish actress Dervla Kirwan – who is the great grand niece of Michael Collins – revealed her family plan to redo his headstone for his 100th anniversary this year, to fix a historic mistake.

The 100-year anniversary of the Irish republican leader’s death will take place on 22 August 2022.

And the RTE Smother star, 50, says the family have big plans to mark the occasion – including fixing his headstone, which has the incorrect date of birth carved on it.

“I can't wait for this year and hopefully we'll be able to go along and be there," she said.

“We're also trying to re-do his headstone for his grave.

“The family – the Collins family.

Picture Shows: Val (DERVLA KIRWAN) – Smother – Episode 4

“So on his gravestone they actually gave the incorrect date of birth – can you imagine?

“So we're re-doing all that this year.

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The dubliner, who currently lives in her English countryside home with her actor husband Rupert Penry-Jones and their two teenage children Peter and Florence, added: “Hopefully it will bring all the families together. It could be very exciting.”

The Ballykissangel star delved deeper into her connection to Michael Collins in an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? in 2010.

And she proudly boasted about her deep family roots whilst speaking on Today with Dáithí and Maura on RTÉ One on Friday.

She said: “I think I'm the great grand niece of Michael Collins. So that's a tremendous connection to have.”

The actress, who is currently starring as family matriarch Val Ahern in season two of RTE drama Smother, also celebrated the success of the show so far and hinted at more shocks to come in the new season.

She said: “I was really grateful to have gotten that call for season two.

“What really appealed to me when I read the entire script for season two was the idea of Denis' ghost rising from the ashes represented by the prodigal son coming back and the impact he has and will have throughout series two and the emotional shrapnel they all have to deal with.

“So it is very exciting. It is beautifully written, and I am very proud of it.”

The first episode of the new season kicked off with a stranger turning up on Val's doorstep, who turned out to be the estranged son of her late husband Denis.

Teasing more cliffhangers to come as the season goes on, she added: “It's going to be very interesting for the audience. Each episode has a monumental cliffhanger… and I don't want to say anymore because I don't want to ruin it. I'll get into trouble if I say too much.”

Episode two of Smother airs on RTE One on Sunday January 16 at 9.30pm.

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