Smother: Cast, plot, filming locations and trailer for the Irish drama

Find out what family drama Smother’s all about as the series, starring Dervla Kirwan, crosses the Irish Sea to the UK.

By Becky Gamester-Newton Published: 4 June 2021 - 8.14pm
BBC Studios The leading Smother characters sat on a sofa

Smother is more than just a murder mystery.

Exploring parent-child relationships and manipulation, the show is also likely to give you a little wanderlust thanks to its setting in rural Ireland.

Originally on Irish channel RTE, it’s now being shown in the UK. Here’s everything you need to know…

What’s Smother about and where was it filmed?

Smother focuses on matriarch Val Ahern, whose husband Denis is found dead at the bottom of a cliff after a family party.

Val tries to find out what happened – and in turn discovers how controlling his behaviour actually was, leading to secrets that could tear the family apart.

Speaking about what drew her to the lead role of Val, Dervla Kirwan said: “It was the complexity: Val’s desire to maintain control of her family, and her very toxic relationship with her husband Denis, as well as the breakdown of that and how it implodes.

“Then her relationship with three daughters and each one having either a different father or mother - all the difficulties that a blended family can bring.”

The series was set in and filmed on location in a small town on the west coast of Ireland.

“I think it will play a blinder for tourism," Kirwan said.

"The house that the Ahern family lives in, which is so stunning, is normally a small hotel (Moy House) and they’ve been inundated with calls for bookings. The more series there are means it will seep into the public consciousness and people will want to go and visit. That's huge for County Clare and for Ireland in general.”

Smother cast

Val Ahern – Dervla Kirwan

Dervla Kirwan in character as Val in Smother BBC Studios

Where have you seen Dervla Kirwan before?

Ballykissangel, Safe House, The Stranger

Grace Ahern - Seána Kerslake

Seána Kerslake in character as Grace in Smother BBC Studios

Where have you seen Seána Kerslake before?

Dollhouse, Can't Cope Won't Cope, Creation Stories

Jenny Ahern – Niamh Walsh

Niamh Walsh in character as Jenny in Smother BBC Studios

Where have you seen Niamh Walsh before?

Holby City, The English Game, Good Omens

Anna Ahern – Gemma-Leah Devereux

Gemma-Leah Devereux in character as Anna in Smother BBC Studios

Where have you seen Gemma-Leah Devereux before?

Judy, Casualty, The Tudors

Denis Ahern – Stuart Graham

Stuart Graham in character as Denis in Smother BBC Studios

Where have you seen Stuart Graham before?

Hunger, Thirteen, The Fall

Carl Jensen – Thomas Levin

Thomas Levin in character as Carl in Smother BBC Studios

Where have you seen Thomas Levin before?


Calum Dwyer – James O’Donoghue

James O'Donoghue in character as Calum in Smother BBC Studios

Where have you seen James O'Donoghue before?

Fair City

Smother trailer

You can watch the trailer for Smother below:

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