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20th Sep 2021

Kin star defends early criticism of new RTÉ crime drama

Last week, the former Lord Mayor of Dublin claimed the programme was glamourising violence.

Irish actor Sam Keeley, who plays Eric Kinsella in the new Irish drama Kin, has defended the show from criticism that it glamorises violence.

In an interview with The Independent, the Offaly actor said that he doesn’t think that there is anything “glamourous” about street violence, losing family members or drug use.

Mr Keeley said: “We make these shows and create art for people to judge and to scrutinise if that’s how they feel.

“I think it would be remiss of us as artists if we told these stories in a censored sort of way — where we didn’t show drug use and shootings and scraps in the street.”

He continued: “Unfortunately, because these are real stories that have affected people’s lives, these are integral parts of those stories.”

The actor encouraged people to watch the series and to engage with its difficult subject matter.

He said: “I think people should go and watch the show, because to me there is nothing glamorous about losing your kids, there is nothing glamorous about drug use, there is nothing glamorous about fighting in the street — but unfortunately these things are part of the stories of the characters and we have to do that justice.”

Kin debuted on RTÉ last Sunday. The eight-part crime series also stars Ciarán Hinds, Clare Dunne, Aidan Gillen and Marie Doyle Kennedy.

The drama follows the Kinsellas, a Dublin crime family who reckon with the killing of one of their own.

Last week, Christy Burke, the former Lord Mayor of Dublin, criticised the national broadcaster for airing a show that he felt glamourised street violence.

On Drivetime, Councillor Burke said: “We see a young 17-year-old drinking while in the background another couple are snorting cocaine then the 17-year-old later gets shot in a drive-by shooting. There’s families who have lost loved ones this way, the city is in the grip of drug dealing.

“Also seeing the mansions where the characters live- there’s nothing wrong with the actors, they’re fine actors. But I think it’s glamourising crime and bringing back memories for families who buried loved ones in gangland feud.”