Mrs Browns Boy’s Rory Cowan reveals he ‘stopped buying lottery tickets’ after hitting the big time on telly

RORY Cowan has revealed he “stopped buying lottery tickets” when he hit the big time with Mrs Brown’s Boys.

The actor, who played Rory Brown in the hit show, enjoyed a massive financial boost when it became a ratings winner in the UK.

Actor Rory Cowan appears on RTE's Keys to my Life

Yet despite the windfall, he refused to upsize from his modest house in Dublin’s Kilmainham.

He explained: “When the money came in with Mrs Browns Boy’s — we were earning a lot of money in those days — I stopped buying lottery tickets because I didn’t need to.

“That’s all I did, I just extended the house and did it up to the way I want it.”

The actor, who grew up in Ballyfermot, admitted he was affected by moving house as a child and always wanted a place he felt secure.


Rory opened up about his trauma in this week’s episode of Keys To My Life, as he returned to his childhood home.

Presented by Brendan Courtney, the series features Irish celebrities who examine how their former homes shaped their lives.

And Rory’s childhood home certainly had a big impact on him, as he recalled: “It’s amazing, when you’re moving, kids are never asked do they want to go. They’re just brought.

“I was brought from here, the happiest childhood I ever could have had. And I was just brought to Athlone where I didn’t want to go. I really missed it.

“My father was a trade union official with the Irish Transport and General Workers Union and he had to run a branch from them. Then he moved us to Athlone and I resented him for years after that.

“Everywhere else we moved, I never knew how long we were going to be staying.”

Rory eventually settled in Kilmainham, and even after making huge sums in Mrs Brown’s Boys, he couldn’t be persuaded to move.

He explained: “When you’re moving you don’t get a sense of home, especially when you’re a child. You don’t feel you belong anywhere.


“So when I bought this house after living in all the bedsits and everything like that.

“I remember coming in and closing the front door and just thinking: ‘nobody can make me move anymore’.”

In an emotional interview, Rory also told how his mother Esther had protected him from abuse as a child by visiting his school every day and speaking to his teachers.

While he was embarrassed at the time, he discovered her motives years later when he asked her about it. He said: “She told me, Rory, in the 50s and 60s we all knew the rumours about the priests and the Brothers but there was nowhere you could go.”

His mother felt that by discussing her son’s schooling with his teachers every day she was “letting them know” that Rory confided in her.

He explained: “I thought, ‘you know what, for a mother, that’s amazing, that’s all they could do to protect you’. I thought, ‘you know what ma, you’re great’.”

Rory on the set of Mrs Browns Boys back in 2014Credit: BBC


A former marketing manager for EMI, Rory began managing Brendan O’Carroll in 1991 and the pair ended up working together for more than a quarter of a century.

However, Rory left their hit show in 2017 amid a blaze of publicity.

He felt compelled to quit when his mother was dying and he was contractually obliged to remain on tour in Australia.

Yet, he admitted he had also become “very bored” with the show which he felt was becoming “a format” with no risk taking.

Describing how he left the job, he said: “When I said to Brendan after 26 years, “Brendan, I want to hand in my notice, how much notice do you need? He didn’t even think, he just said straight out, you can leave at the end of the week if you like.

“What it said to me was, I have made the right decision.

“I wouldn’t hear a bad word against him really but I haven’t seen Brendan since the day I left the show.

“It’s not part of my life any more. It was a job and I’ve moved on.”

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