Irene Roberts
Portrayed by Jacqui Phillips (1991)
Lynne McGranger[1] (1992–present)
First appearance 29 October 1991
Episode 887
Gender Female
Occupation Part-owner of the Pier Diner, Foster mother, formerly School secretary
Residence The Beach House

Irene Roberts is a fictional character in the Australian soap opera Home and Away, portrayed by actress Jacqui Phillips[2] from 1991 to 1992 and by Lynne McGranger from 1992 to the present.[3] As What's On notes, "Lynne McGranger (Irene) is one of the longest lasting cast members of the Aussie soap."[4]

Fictional biography

Irene arrived in Summer Bay as the alcoholic mother of two children, Damian and Fin,[5] being fostered by Pippa Ross. Having hit rock bottom after an unhappy marriage and having hit the grog in despair she turned her life around, becoming one of the key characters in the series and taking over the Beach House. Her two biological children moved in with her, and she also fostered a number of other young people over time.

For a long time she worked in Ailsa and Alf Stewart's shop and then in the diner. She applied to become headmaster Donald Fisher's secretary at Summer Bay High School, even though she could not do shorthand, type or use a computer. She got the job and managed to pull the wool over Don's eyes by using a tape recorder and doing all the work at home in the evenings. He eventually cottoned on, and impressed by her resourcefulness, he then arranged for her to attend secretarial classes. In 2003, she acquired a share in the diner.

Development and production

Lynne McGranger, who portrays Roberts, said of her role, "Having to play that 'losing your mind' stuff was really a stretch for something like Home And Away, and for someone like Irene, who's very comfortably swanned around Summer Bay for 13 or 14 years, making people cups of tea and solving their problems...Sometimes you get a little too comfortable and that really jolted me out of my comfort zone. It was exhausting but exhilarating."[6]


  1. "Coronation Street to defend crown," BBC News (15 July 2008).
  2. Andrew Mercado, Super Aussie Soaps (2004), 258.
  3. "Lynne loves tough roles," (January 16, 2007).
  4. "Ada: 'Why I'm staying in Summer Bay!'," What's On (17/06/2009).
  5. Andrew Mercado, Super Aussie Soaps (2004), 258.
  6. "Lynne loves tough roles," (January 16, 2007).

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