|Lynne McGranger as Irene Roberts|
|Occupation|| Diner co-owner|
|Residence||The Beach House|
|Relationships|| Murdoch Roberts (ex-husband; deceased)|
Barry Hyde (ex-boyfriend)
Mike O'Reilly (ex-fiance)
Ken Smith (fiancé's; deceased)
|Family|| Wendy McFarlane (sister)|
Nathan Roberts (son)
Mick Jennings (son)
Finlay Roberts (daughter)
Nelson McFarlane (nephew)
Paul Roberts (grandson)
Mark Roberts (grandson)
Luc Patterson (granddaughter)
|First Appearance||29 October 1991|
|Portrayed by|| Jacqui Phillips (1991-1992)
Lynne McGranger (1993-present)
She's also the ex-wife of Murdoch Roberts and the former fiancee of Mike O'Reilly and Ken Smith. She's the grandmother of Paul Roberts, Mike Roberts and Luc Patterson.
Irene has fostered or taken young teens under her wing, like Selina Roberts, Tasha Andrews, Belle Taylor, Geoff Campbell, Annie Campbell, Chris Harrington, Olivia Fraser Richards, Hunter King, Skye Peters and Bella Nixon.
Irene arrives in Summer Bay as the alcoholic mother of three children, Nathan, Damian and Fin, being fostered by Pippa Ross.
Having hit rock bottom after an unhappy marriage, she had started drinking heavily as a coping mechanism, and it was soon revealed that she had used violence towards Damian and Nathan on occasions while under the influence.
Although Damian and Fin try to maintain a relationship with her following her arrival, her drunken antics prove too much, and after falling down the stairs after a binge, she falsely accuses Damian and Fin of pushing her and then threatens to harm Pippa if she does not release Damian from her care.
This proves to be the final straw for Damian and Fin; unable to cope with her behaviour any longer, the two, backed by Pippa and her husband Michael, tell Irene to leave the Bay and go home and get her life back together.
After an 18-month absence, Irene returns to the Bay after hearing in the news that Fin had nearly drowned during a deep sea dive. By this time, Irene had turned her life around and had not touched alcohol in over a year.
Although initially sceptical, her children soon warmed to her when they realised that she really had changed for the better, and, following the arrival of Damian and Fin's brother Nathan in the Bay when Irene was considering leaving, Nathan explained that their mother was now recovered from alcoholism and had left their father; as a result Damian and Fin decided that they wanted her to stay at Summer Bay permananently.
Despite the previous animosity between the two, Irene also soon becomes firm friends with Pippa, displaying a kinder side to her personality when she helps Pippa come to terms with the loss of her son Dale who died of cot death, and the death of her husband Michael, who drowned in a flash flood.
Before long Irene would become one of the key characters in the series, taking over the Beach House. Her three biological children moved back in with her, and she also fostered a number of other young people over time.
Irene and Angie Russell (Laurie Foell) took an instant dislike to each other. Angie tried getting Irene in trouble with the law by framing her for sexually interfering with Nick, but Irene threatened Angie and did some detective work before eventually learning that Angie and Nick had been having an affair themselves.
Horrified, Irene assaulted Angie and did her best from then on to destroy her. After Angie's dodgy past was exposed, Irene attended Angie's walk of shame at the school. Irene, amongst several others, was a top suspect when Angie was found dead. But it eventually turned out that Dylan, Angie's son, had accidentally killed her during an argument.
Not disappointed by Angie's death, Irene was later shocked when Angie's past came back to haunt her instead in the form of Tasha Andrews (Isabel Lucas). Irene adopts homeless Tasha but Angie's cousin, Josie Russell (Laurie Foell), turned up in town demanding legal custody of Tasha. Morag Bellingham (Cornelia Frances) assisted Irene in fighting Josie, who then backed off.
Irene was later shocked when Josie revealed that Tasha's father had planted surveillance cameras in her house to spy over her and Irene. Morag managed to convince Irene to meet with Tasha's father, who then agreed to take the cameras away. In the end, Tasha stayed with Irene and Josie backed off once and for all.
Irene and several others fear for Tasha's safety when she joins a religious group called the Believers. They seem dodgy and Irene, not wanting to get involved, lets Tasha make her own decisions. But the leader, Mumma Rose (Linden Wilkinson), proved to be dangerous and Irene watched from afar as Tasha's life spiraled out of control.
Irene and Summer Bay later reunited after Josh West (Daniel Collopy) turned up in town and became mayor with the intention of starting developments and constructions in Summer Bay. In 2006, Irene was shocked when Josh was found dead and Tasha became a top suspect. Through a series of events, Tasha was proven innocent. Irene tried starting a relationship with Barry Hyde (Ivar Kants), but Morag later exposed him as Josh's killer and the killer of his own wife, Kerry. Irene couldn't believe Barry had murdered two people and broke up with him. Irene was pleased, however, when Tasha saw sense and left the Believers after they tried to kill her.
Irene insisted to everyone that Will was innocent, but Morag made sure Irene knew she was going to do everything she could to destroy Will. Irene was later devastated when Will managed to escape town and she decided to track him down. Will eventually contacted Irene, who found him at an old barn miles away from town.
Will then forced Irene to promise to let him go and told her to look after Lily. But realizing that Alf hadn't killed Penn, Irene contacted the police and Irene watched on as Will was arrested and charged for murdering Penn instead. Irene was then devastated when Lily blamed her for everything.
Irene is involved in the bomb explosion that occurs at the hospital. Irene is delivering food for Bianca Scott (Lisa Gormley) and Heath Braxton (Dan Ewing) before the explosion. The bomb explodes and Irene is slammed into one of the walls she was standing by.
However, she survives the bombing. Chris Harrington (Johnny Ruffo) picked poisonous mushrooms and served them as his famous Mushroom Risotto, he managed to drive the diner temporarily out of business and Irene considering shutting the diner for good, but with help from the community the diner was saved. Chris and his brother Spencer (Andrew Morley) and Sasha Bezmel (Demi Harman) moved into the Beach House to live with Irene.
Irene farewells Spencer and Sasha after they leave town. Irene supports VJ Patterson (Matthew Little) and Zac MacGuire (Charlie Clausen) while Leah Patterson-Baker(Ada Nicodemou) is in a coma following a bus accident. Irene invites Nate Cooper (Kyle Pryor) to move into the Beach House with her. Principal Greg Snelgrove (Paul Gleeson) takes a liking to Irene and they have dinner together, but Irene is bored by Greg's conversation.
Irene goes to London to help look after James Fraser's (Michael Piccirilli) niece Olivia Fraser Richards (Raechelle Banno). When Irene returns, she helps Marilyn with her memory loss. Olivia turns up in the Bay to live with Irene. She later reveals to Irene that she was sexually abused by a friend of her uncle's.
This causes Irene to open up about her own abuse and she reveals that she had a child that she was forced to give up for adoption. Irene starts drinking again to cope with her grief. After Charlotte King (Erika Heynatz) is shot, Irene becomes a suspect. Irene decides to try to find her child. Irene also took John's foster daughter, Skye Peters (Marlo Kelly) in her care when John departed Australia to see Marilyn in Italy.
On the night of the hospital fundraiser party, Irene meets a mysterious man at her front door named Mick Jennings (Kristian Schmid), who claims to be Chris' uncle. When Irene becomes suspicious of who Mick really is, she tries to escape, but Mick kidnaps her. He holds her captive for weeks and uses her phone to reply to Olivia's text messages. He later sends her a photo of a captive and terrified Irene.