|Lynne McGranger as Irene Roberts|
|Residence||The Beach House|
|Relationships|| Murdoch "Mud" Roberts
|Family|| Wendy McFarlane
|First Appearance||29 October 1991|
|Portrayed by|| Jacqui Phillips (1991-1992)
Lynne McGranger (1993-present)
Irene Roberts a major character in Home and Away. The character is played by Lynne McGranger. She was previously played by actress Jacqui Phillips from 1991 until 1992 when McGranger took over the role. Irene Roberts is the longest running female character in the show.
Irene arrived in Summer Bay in October 1991 as the alcoholic mother of two children, 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 also her other son Nathan) on occasions while under the influence. Although Damian and Fin tried to maintain a relationship with her following her arrival, her drunken antics proved too much, and in January 1992, after falling down the stairs after a binge, she falsely accusing Damian and Fin of pushing her and then threatened to harm Pippa if she did not release Damian from her care. This proved 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, told Irene to leave the Bay and go home and get her life back together. Irene left shortly afterwards.
After an 18 month absence, Irene returned to the bay in July 1993 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 in August 1993 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 became firm friends with Pippa, displaying a kinder side to her personality when she helped Pippa come to terms with the loss of her baby son Dale who died of SIDS in late 1993, and the death of her husband Michael, who drowned in a flash flood in 1996.
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.
In 2003, Irene and Angie Russell 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. In 2004, Irene adopted homeless Tasha but Angie's cousin, Josie Russell, turned up in town demanding legal custody of Tasha. Fortunately, Morag Bellingham 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.
In 2005, Irene and several others feared for Tasha's safety when she joined a religious group called the Believers. They seemed dodgy and Irene, not wanting to get involved, let Tasha make her own decisions. But the leader, Mumma Rose, 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 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 unfortunate 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.
In 2011, 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.
In the 2013 season final of Home and Away, Irene is involved in the bomb explosion that occurs at the hospital. Irene is delivering food for Bianca Scott and Heath Braxton before the explosion. The bomb explodes and Irene is slammed into one of the walls she was standing by. In 2014 Irene survives the explosion and leaves the hospital unharmed.