Young Offenders star has a great story about why the foul-mouthed Mairead is loved by parents
Just another reason to love Mairead. She's easily one of the best characters.
While The Young Offenders is very much an ensemble comedy, it's likely that every fan has their favourite character.
Granted, without everyone's favourite langers with the worst haircuts imaginable - that would be Conor and Jock - the entire show wouldn't work because their ridiculous antics and unspokenly-sweet friendship is what drives the whole proceedings.
This being said, never underestimate how much people absolutely love Billy Murphy! Ok, he's a bit of a psychopath and he'd probably headbutt you before stealing your phone, but he's definitely got his fans.
However, to most people, the long-suffering Mairead McSweeney (Hilary Rose) is one of the finest characters that you'll see on TV and she's an incredibly strong female character.
To begin with, she has the stress of being Conor's mam to deal with and to compound things, she went and adopted Jock too after he couldn't stand his negligent and abusive father anymore.
Simply put, Mairead isn't afraid of anything and even though she might call her sons dickheads - seriously, is there anyone better at swearing on-screen than Hilary Rose? - they're her dickheads and Mairead will fight anyone that tries to make their life harder than it already is.
Oh yes, She. Will. Fight. Anyone.
From the local policeman, to the headmaster, and even a violent dad, they've all felt her righteous rage.
Yes, she's tough, ferocious, and can swear like a trooper, but there's also an awful lot of poignant, touching, and sweet scenes with Mairead too.
After her husband was killed in an accident on a building site, Mairead has been a single parent that's trying to support her son by working on a fish stall in the English Market.
She's a force of nature that can cut anyone in two with one well-placed insult.
However, when JOE had the chance to chat with Hilary Rose and P.J. Gallagher ahead of the Season 2 premiere of The Young Offenders, we had to wonder what she makes of this newfound role model status?
Basically, parents love Mairead because she talks to her child in the way that most folks will only dream of.
However, Rose told JOE that the show's representation of what it means to be a single-parent has really resonated with viewers.
"More often than not, they kind of come up and go ‘don’t tell anybody, but that’s how I actually talk to my children!’ Yeah, it’s funny. After Season 1, I had this young fella come up to me and he was so lovely. It was just the nicest conversation. He said he was raised by a single parent - it was just his mum and his sister - he felt that it was the first time that this was fully represented on Irish TV, a single parent family on Irish TV in a real way.
"I was really proud of that. I really loved that. I always felt that it was a very touching thing, for somebody to say that it really effected their lives in that way."
In Season 2, with Linda dating Conor and a baby on the way for Jock and Siobhan, it's clear that Rose will be spending a lot more time on screen with P.J. Gallagher's character, Principal Barry Walsh.
However, Gallagher also feels that the way in which the relationship between Mairead and her sons has been handled is perfect.
"Also, it’s not just tragedy. That’s what I like about Mairead and Alex (Conor). I like that it’s a single parent family, but it’s not a tragedy. It’s just everyday life. Just get on with it," he said.
We're certain that Mairead would say the exact same thing...then she'd call us a dickhead.
Truth be told, we wouldn't have it any other way.
Season 2 of The Young Offenders starts at 21:30 on RTÉ2 on Monday, 11 November.