RTE Fair City star Ryan Andrews reveals how tough it was to see his dad on life support and getting engaged to Michaela O’Neill

Opening up on what’s next for Sean on the soap, Ryan, 28, said: 'There’s always something unexpected on the horizon on the streets of Carrigstown'

RTE Fair City star Ryan Andrews reveals how tough it was to see his dad on life support and getting engaged to Michaela O’Neill
Ryan Andrews and his father (Image: Instagram)

Ryan Andrews is best known for playing Sean Cassidy in Fair City, but he also wowed on Dancing with the Stars.

He revealed how tough it was to see his dad on life support, getting engaged to Michaela O’Neill, and his obsession with magic.

Opening up on what’s next for Sean on the soap, Ryan, 28, said: “There’s always something unexpected on the horizon on the streets of Carrigstown.”

How did you pop the question?

“I proposed to Michaela when we were down in our favourite spot Ballymoney.

“Michaela grew up there, now all her family and relatives are there so it’s a hugely significant spot.

“I’ve been planning it for the last two weeks trying to keep it a secret from her.

“I always knew i was going to do it but it was just waiting for the right time.

“We’re going away to Marbella on Tuesday to continue the celebrations.

“Michaela’s dad passed on a few years ago, the most important part was to keep him involved in the celebrations so to have it here.

“Michaela is shocked, she had no idea it was going to happen, which I’m delighted about so the acting skills kicked in there.

“We’re floating, we’re over the moon. Now we’re both saying we should have done it years ago.”

Tell us something about you that we would not know?

“I’m obsessed with magic. Not many people would know this as I’ve never actually spoken about it (and probably for a good reason).

“My grandad got me into card tricks when I was four or five and since then I was hooked – that actually led me into wanting to perform later in my life.

“I love the suspense, the skill and ultimately the reveal – seeing the shock on people’s faces at the end in priceless.

“I would like to add I am available for kids birthday parties and weddings in the future.”

Your biggest regret is?

“I’m not really one for having regrets. I always try to live every single day as best I can, try new things, push myself in many different ways and explore new opportunities when they present themselves.

“I think we can always learn from our past, whether that’s good or bad – right or wrong. We are where we are today from all the decisions we’ve made throughout our lives, I’m very happy and content at this moment in time so ultimately – no regrets.”

Your greatest achievement to date is...?

“Purchasing my home with Michaela. We got the keys on September 1, 2020.

“Michaela turned 26 and I was 27. Turning the keys in the door for the first time was a moment we’ll never forget.

“All the years of working 3/4 jobs, endless sleepless nights to get what we wanted and had dreamed of had now paid off. Everything had led to this point, and we still have that feeling, one year on, every time we walked through the door which we love and don’t take for granted.”

Who is the greatest love of your life?

“The greatest love of my life is my dog Ralph. He’s a golden cocker spaniel... No it’s of course Michaela. We met when we were 10 and 11 in the Olympia Theatre Pantomime in Dublin, we were friends until 15/16 and have been together ever since.

“She is my best friend which I think is so important in a relationship and we have shared so many experiences together.

“Some of the best and most challenging in our lives which has made us stronger than we could ever have imagined all those years ago.”

Do you have a religion or are you spiritual in any way?

“I would say I’m religious, I certainly do have faith. I don’t go to Mass every week and only really visit a church either for a wedding or a funeral – but I like to be thankful for what I have and always talk and vision things for myself and other people – whether I’m talking to myself most of the time or there is somebody out there I’m not to sure, bit I’ll keep on doing it.”

Who is the most famous person in your phone contacts – and how do you know them?

“Linda Martin – not Linda Martin that works in the local Spar – the one and only Eurovision winner Linda Martin. Myself and Linda met when we performed in the Olympia Panto together over 10 years ago and have stayed friends ever since.”

What pushes your buttons right now?

“My index finger.”

What advice would you give you 16-year-old self?

“I always say to be more courageous and back yourself more and take more risks at a young age.

“Looking back when 16 years old I left school during my leaving cert, while filming for The Clinic on RTE, moved to London on my own when everyone said no to, supported myself and believed I had something to prove and offer.

“I think my 16-year-old self needs to give the 28-year-old some advice if I’m honest.”

Your favourite place and why?

“This question if asked to me before last year would have been Florida where myself and Michaela have gone every year for six years.

“But since lockdown and since we haven’t been able to travel we are lucky to have a mobile home in the beautiful Ballymoney in Wexford – myself and Michaela spent our summers in Wexford growing up as kids so it’s actually really nice to come full circle and spend every second we can down there.”

What’s in your handbag/wallet?

“Currently I have three bank cards, very little cash, driver license and my Covid-19 vaccination record.”

Your motto for life?

“If it’s for you it won’t pass you – but sometimes you have to go out there and grab it. Also – hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.

“This always remind me that I may not be the most talented person in the room or at a specific thing, but if I work hard and stay consistent and disciplined I can work and get to where I need to.”

Who is your hero and why?

“My hero is my dad. Everything that I want to be as a person is in my dad, I’m so lucky to have someone like him in my life and lead by example on a daily basis.

“We faced our challenges as a family this year when my dad contracted Covid-19, he spent five weeks in the Mater Hospital, 10 days in ICU and six days on a life support machine.

“Since then my dad has gone from strength to strength and now more than ever I respect and admire him in so many ways and on so many levels, the determination and will power he showed throughout the past seven months is like nothing I ever witnessed – all while smiling which is the most important part.”