Mrs Brown’s Boys star Eilish O’Carroll opens up about feeling ‘sad and very depressed’ amid coronavirus crisis

MRS Brown's Boys star Eilish O'Carroll has opened up about feeling "sad and very depressed" amid the pandemic.

The actor, who plays Winnie McGoogan in the hit RTE comedy written by her brother Brendan, admitted to feeling low during lockdown.

Eilish told how she was feeling low during lockdownCredit: Virgin Media One

However, the 68-year-old said that "it's OK not to be OK" particularly during such a stressful time.

She said: "I'm going to be really honest, I have good days and bad days and some days I actually wake up depressed and I don't suffer from depression.

I've had a bad day, I've had an off day but I've never really been depressed but actually this morning I woke up and I felt rather sad and very depressed.

"It's short lived, once you start moving, once you start doing something but you're kind of hoping that every day when you wake up that today is going to be different, we're going to be normal again and it isn't.

"So that gets to me, it really does get to me. I'm not going to sugar coat it, I do the best I can.

"I love laughter as you know so I try to look on the bright side of things but I sympathise with people who are stuck at home on their own.

"Now fortunately I'm not, but those who are stuck at home totally on their own and have to deal with this on a daily basis and my heart goes out to them.

"I think that's what you have to tell yourself, that it is OK to have your bad day, it is OK to let it get you, that you're not going mad and you're not going to go into a manic depression, it's OK.

"Given the circumstances, it really is alright to be not alright."

Eilish plays Winnie McGoogan alongside brother Brendan O'CarrollCredit: BBC


However Eilish told how the community spirit where she lives helps her through the bad days.

She said: "I'm so fortunate, I love where I live, on the Northside of Dublin, it's on a row of terraced houses and at least three times a week we all sit outside in the evenings and we'll have our little glass of wine, respecting the social distance.

"We'll have our chats and we'll see the kids. It's just lovely and we've had bingo nights, we're organising - I hope it comes off - a karaoke night and this weekend now we will have a barbeque.

"A community barbeque and again we'll all bring our little barbeques outside, cook our own dinners, sit our own tables but at least we don't feel so isolated and it's a bit of fun."


Eilish also spoke about how she feels comedy and Mrs Brown's Boys will be of huge importance once restrictions are lifted.

She told Muireann O'Connell and Martin Kind on yesterday's Six O'Clock Show: "Mrs Brown's Boys first went out I think it was in 2010 and that was a year where we were in a deep recession.

"Europe was definitely in a deep recession at that time and particularly ourselves.

"I feel that when people are worried and stressed and they get a diversion, they get a moment where they're laughing out loud.

"I think that can change how they feel, momentarily, but I think that's why comedy is so successful in these times because comedy is all about timing.

"I think when people are feeling down they love a lift and the Irish are great, we have a great sense of humour haven't we?


"We're born with a lovely sense of humour and even in tragic times somebody will say something funny and just lift you for a moment.

"I think hopefully, we'll be even more successful when this is over."

The Dublin native added that she hopes that creator Brendan will write a Mrs Brown episode to reflect the feeling of the pandemic.

She said: "I hope he does. We have the Christmas specials coming up and we record them in October, now I have no doubt he hasn't even started writing them yet so I hope he does show what family life was like for some families.

"I honestly do think at that time we'll be able to look at ourselves and laugh and get a little bit of a cheer from it."


Last month Eilish and Brendan lost their sister Fiona who passed away in Canada.

Eilish had called her their "second mammy" when she first returned home after dealing with the tragedy.

She revealed yesterday that she sympathises with those losing loved ones to Covid-19 as she never got a funeral for her sister.

She said: "I didn't get there on time, Brendan managed to get there the night she died.

"We didn't arrive with my other brothers until the following day.

"There was no funeral and there was no ceremony so being Irish, obviously, we're very used to that process and so we actually came back feeling very bereft and very lost because we weren't able to give her the send off she truly deserved.

"So I actually do get it when people now and it actually makes me cry when I hear people who have lost their family, lost their mum or their dad or an uncle, someone they're really really close to and they loved deeply and they can't celebrate their life.

"They can't be there for them. They can't even be by their bedside and my heart breaks.

"It's OK saying we can celebrate it afterwards, we'll all do it.

Eilish appeared on yesterday's Six O'Clock Show with hosts Muireann O'Connell and Martin KingCredit: Virgin Media One

"I hope we'll have a mass mourning day when this is all over and it becomes a party and it becomes a celebration of all the people who have lost their lives through this and also for all the hospital staff.

"The wonderful workers out there who are keeping us afloat and keeping us safe. I think Ireland should have one big massive party."

The Six O'Clock Show airs Monday to Friday on Virgin Media One.

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