Carolyn Bracken is a graduate of The Gaiety School of acting. She wrote and starred in 'Inner Child', a short film that has screened at Cork Film Festival, Fastnet and has been selected for RTE Shortscreen, 2020.
Carolyn has appeared in The Line of Duty, The Fall and Game of Thrones and recently starred alongside Sarah Greene and Killian Scott as Sandra Sculley in Dublin Murders. She lives in Nenagh.
What's your idea of a perfect day, or perfect weekend in Tipperary?
I'd have to say, being in my family home in Nenagh when the entire family are there. It doesn't happen often, so when we're all under the same roof it's quite the experience. Whether it's a BBQ in the back garden in the summer, or a roast by the fire in the winter there are no other bunch of people I'd rather be with.
My Mum is the ultimate host. My Dad enjoys a hefty helping of peace and quiet. I have three incredible sisters, and there are husbands, partners, kids of all ages and dogs of all sizes.
There's always chaos. There are always heated debates. There's always a lot of laughing. There's always wine and cracking food. It's wonderful.
Who has made the greatest contribution to Tipperary in your lifetime - and why?
I think the Tipperary population, as a whole have made an incredible contribution to their county and country. We are progressive and compassionate, and that shows through how we voted in two extremely important referendums in the past few years - the Same-Sex Marriage Referendum and the Repeal the 8th Referendum.
Tipperary, as a county agreed that marriage equality and a woman having agency over her own body should exist in Ireland. Well done Tipp. We helped change the course of history for many, many people.
What's your favourite part of the county - and why?
I grew up living close to the lake, so places like Dromineer and Garykennedy are parts of Tipperary that mean a lot to me. You can stroll by the strand, walk in the woods and there are restaurants, pubs and cafes to pop in to. I see how much my kids enjoy going to these places, so I feel quite lucky to have them on my doorstep.
Carolyn Bracken as Sandra Scully in hit TV series Dublin Murders
What do you think gives Tipperary its unique identity?
Tipperary will always be unique to me. Tipperary is part of my identity. Plenty of counties have similarities - the lakes, the woods, the people. But, the lake in Tipp glistens a little more to me than others, and to me the woods are more lush than anywhere else. The people, to me have the best humour and the warmest voices because they're familiar. Tipperary is home, and that's what makes it unique to me.
Do you have a favourite local writer or author?
Donal Ryan has had great success, and his writing comes from a perspective I find interesting and admirable. He seems to be an advocate for not having a clue what you're doing half the time, and that's reassuring coming from someone as successful in his field as him. 'Certainty is the anathema to creativity', he says. Phew.
What's the biggest challenge facing the county today?
Rural isolation, and the need for more supports. The rate of self harm and suicide in rural, farming areas is alarming. The reluctance of people, men in particular to reach out for help needs to be addressed.
If you had the power to change one thing in, or about Tipperary, what would it be?
My eight year old son has high-functioning autism. I was also recently diagnosed with high-functioning autism, at the age of 37. Nenagh is currently in the early stages of becoming an autism-friendly town, and I have just joined the committee in the hopes of being able to contribute somewhat to this change.
The comprehension and perceptions of autism usually revolves around the male symptoms, while an entire gender has yet to be widely acknowledged. Autism in females presents quite differently, and I would love to help Nenagh, Tipperary and the country understand autism from all perspectives.