Rory Cowan reveals he fears contracting coronavirus could lead to same dementia that killed mum

 STAGE and TV star Rory Cowan has revealed he fears contracting the Coronavirus could lead to the same dementia that killed his mother.

The 60-year-old actor said while Ireland copes with a massive increase in cases, it’s the long-term effects of the disease on the brain which scares him most.

Rory Cowan has opened up about his fears Credit: Crispin Rodwell - The Sun Dublin

His mum Esther, 85, passed away in 2018 after a long battle with the neurological disorder.

Rory told the Irish Sun: “It’s not the virus. It’s what comes after. I’m terrified of getting Covid-19. Hopefully I won’t but if I do, I’m more scared of the long-term damage  it may do to your brain.

“I’ve heard doctors saying the long-term effect is still unknown but that it may lead to neurological damage.  I would hate to get Parkinson’s disease or dementia like my mother had because I’d had the virus.

“The same thing happened with Spanish flu, which hit in 1918 but in the 1940’s they had a big spike in older people dying from Parkinson’s Disease, which they linked to people who had survived the Spanish flu.”

Scientists have established people born during the time of the Spanish flu outbreak in 1918 had a two- or threefold-increased risk of Parkinson’s as opposed to those born prior to 1888 or after 1924.


A new study published this week in the journal Trends in Neurosciences states that Covid-19 might be “a perfect storm” for the development of PD.

Former Mrs Brown’s Boys  star Rory  believes he stands a good chance of avoiding the deadly virus as he is working on RTE’s Fair City. Rory said: “If the whole country was run like RTE, we’d have Covid beaten.

“It’s so regimented on Fair City but it really works. I feel so safe out there. Everybody is wearing a mask, there are signs on the floor everywhere telling you in which direction to walk.

“The RTE canteen is the same with traffic all channelled in the same direction. They couldn’t be doing more to keep us safe.”


The former BBC star said he has turned down offers from UK TV bosses to appear in TV quizzes and reality shows because he’s happier in Carrigstown.

He said: “I’m just not interested in getting up at the crack of dawn to hang around Dublin airport or sweating because the only flight back to Dublin is at 8pm on a Tuesday night and I’m not finished filming.

“I do a week on Fair City then have a week off, then a week back filming.”

Rory has been praised for his part in a storyline as character John Bosco Walsh whose mother poignantly suffers from dementia.

He added: “It suits me at a point in my life. And the quality of the writing on Fair City is superb."

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