Redemption’s Siobhán McSweeney developed anxiety after horrifying ordeal left her homeless

17 Mar 2023, 20:02
17 Mar 2023, 20:09

Derry Girls, Holding, Redemption, Siobhán McSweeney

Redemption star Siobhán McSweeney is best known for her comedic role as Sister Michael in Derry Girls, but in the midst of her fame she was dealt a devastating blow.

The actress stars in the excellent detective drama Redemption, starting on ITV1 on Friday night (March 17, 2023).

It’s hard to believe that just a few years ago, she was left homeless after a horrifying ordeal which also left her battling  anxiety.

So what happened in 2019 that changed her life forever?

Siobhán McSweeney starred as Jennifer Langan in the Death in Paradise Christmas special (Credit: Red Planet/Denis Guyenon)

What is Siobhán McSweeney famous for?

Siobhán McSweeney is an Irish actress and presenter.

C4 viewers know her best as Sister Michael in the sitcom Derry Girls.

In fact, her character became so popular in Ireland, there’s even a mural of McSweeney as Sister Michael in Dublin by artist Emmalene Blake.

Siobhán also appeared on the Derry Girls edition of The Great British Bake Off in January 2020.

Since January 2021, she has been the presenter on The Great Pottery Throw Down on Channel 4.

Sadly, she could not appear in the early episodes of the 2022 series, after breaking her leg in two places.

In 2023, Siobhán appeared in a celebrity episode of Catchphrase winning almost £30,000 for her charity, The Maya Centre, in North London.

Who does Siobhán play in Redemption?

Siobhán McSweeney plays Jane Connolly in the cast of Redemption on ITV1.

Jane is the no-nonsense boss of DI Colette Cunningham – and doesn’t exactly approve of her being assigned to Dublin’s police force, the Garda.

It’s a very different role for Siobhán as she’s playing it totally straight, and the character is not entirely likeable!

Speaking to The Times, she said of the role: “Paula Malcomson is playing a Liverpudlian detective who gets a call from Dublin to identify a body that turns out to be her estranged daughter.

“I play her boss, a detective sergeant.

“It’s not something I believe people would think of me being in.”

Siobhán McSweeney with friend Dan Gillespie Sells, lead singer of The Feeling (Credit: Brett D. Cove /

What has Siobhán McSweeney been in?

Derry Girls fans will know the actress from her role as Sister Michael, a role she played from 2018 to 2022.

She recently played Bríd Riordan in the cast of Holding, opposite Conleth Hill.

Siobhán was superb as the alcoholic mum-of-two, a possible suspect in the murder of Tommy Burke.

He’d jilted her at the altar years before, and she’d been drinking herself into oblivion ever since.

The actress also starred as Mary McCurdy in the brilliant BBC thriller The Fall opposite Jamie Dornan, and played Ruth Cheetham in the comedy No Offence.

Other notable mentions include roles in Murdoch Mysteries, Collateral and Porters, as well as numerous films including Extra Ordinary, and The Electrical Life of Louis Wain.

She’s also well respected for her work in the theatre.

Last year, Siobhán guest starred in the Christmas edition of Death in Paradise.

In 2023 so far, she has played Mary in superhero comedy Extraordinary on Disney+.

How old is Siobhán McSweeney?

Siobhán McSweeney was born on December 27, 1979.

That means she is currently 43 years of age.

Siobhán McSweeney hosts The Great Pottery Throwdown (Credit: Channel 4)

Where is Siobhán from?

Actress Siobhán was born in County Cork, Ireland.

She grew up in the small village of Aherla, which has a population of under 600.

Before acting, she earned a science degree at the University College Cork.

In 2001, she moved to London after being offered a place at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

This is the face of a HOMELESS BIRTHDAY ORPHAN😬😳
I’m off to Thailand today for a few weeks to recoup. It’s been a tough ole year. And my health hasn’t been too good as a result. So off to clean air, beaches, sleep and nice food. I’ll come back taller and nicer hopefully. 🎂

— Siobhán McSweeney (@siobhni) December 27, 2019

Why was Siobhán left homeless?

Tragedy befell Siobhán McSweeney in November 2019.

Her flat in London caught fire after a cube plug fell out of the socket at her bedside causing a devastating blaze.

The cube double adaptor had fallen out of the socket and created an “electrical arc” which sparked and started the fire.

Luckily, she was out at the time but most of her belongings were destroyed.

She told her Twitter followers: “I’ve got some bad news.

“Last night my flat went on fire.

“Thankfully I was out at a stupid play otherwise it could have been a worse story.

“The fire alarms alerted my neighbours and thankfully they’re all safe too.”

She added: “Two fire brigades arrived, chopped down my new front door to discover the whole flat in acrid smoke and my bedroom so hot it had cracked the windows.”

Siobhán McSweeney hosted Exploring Northern Ireland on Channel 4 (Credit: C4)

Her battle with anxiety

Siobhán then faced a period of homelessness, and developed anxiety as a result of the incident.

She said at the time that she had been left with an “aftermath of anxiety” which “came in waves”.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, she said: “For a long time afterwards I would wake up in the middle of the night and go round and unplug stuff.

“And if I hadn’t been at that show there’s no doubt that this would have been a very different story.

“It would have been the toxic fumes from the smouldering of the mattress… That would have got to me first.”

The actress was also floored by a mystery illness, which she later admitted was probably “emotional exhaustion”.

When the pandemic struck, Siobhán was still homeless…

She was staying with a friend and felt anxious about Covid because of her asthma.

Siobhán told The Times: “I was vomiting, my joints were all swollen.

“By the time the pandemic hit, I was in this state of crisis survival, I suppose because I was moving from crisis to crisis.”

Siobhán McSweeney in Redemption: Her real-life family tragedy

It’s been a tough few years for the actress.

In 2018 her father Traolach Mac Suibhne died.

Just nine months later, her beloved aunt Betsy also died.

On top of all this, cowardly internet trolls have also attacked her for her weight.

Siobhán credits therapy for helping her get through it, saying: “I’m a big believer in therapy.”

Derry Girls actress Siobhán McSweeney as Bríd Riordan in Holding (Credit: ITV1)

Is she married?

Redemption star Siobhán McSweeney is not married.

She has not revealed publicly if she’s in a relationship or single.

The actress is not known to have any children.

Read more: Redemption on ITV1: Why it’s THE new drama to watch this week!

See Siobhán McSweeney as Jane Connolly in Redemption on Friday nights at 9pm on ITV1.

Will you be watching Siobhán McSweeney in Redemption? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

About the Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.