Debbie's heroin overdose really upset me.. I got very attached playing the role; LOVE/HATE SHOCKER; Actress Susan's heartache over character's sad end.
LOVE/HATE star Susan Loughnane has revealed her upset at reading her character Debbie would be killed off after a heroin overdose.
In harrowing scenes last night viewers saw her succumb to her demons and die alongside her flatmate Denise.
Susan, 26, who won an IFTA for her portrayal of the drug-addicted prostitute in RTE's gangland series, said she had decided to quit the show after starring in three series.
She added: "I had known it was going to happen as I had spoken about it with my agent and we all agreed it was best if this was the last season for Debbie.
"I felt it was the right time. But reading the script upset me a lot more than I had expected it to.
"I went out with my mother for a coffee in Malahide and I was sort of in a trance after reading it. She knew I was upset so I had to tell her. It was hard to read. I am very attached to Debbie."
The former model is currently starring in popular UK soap Hollyoaks, playing funloving Irish mum Chloe.
And Susan said she is glad to be getting a break from the darker roles.
She added: "I think it's pretty obvious I loved playing Debbie.
"It's pretty devastating leaving her behind, but I'm excited to be working on other characters now. Much lighter roles at the moment and a lot of comedy.
"I'll get back to the darker stuff soon I'm sure but I just needed a little break.
"I've just been filming a lot on Hollyoaks.
I was on it this week and I'll be back on screen all through December and the start of the New Year.
"I'm also working on something I've co-written at the moment which is so exciting. It's a comedy and I'm revelling in it. Can't wait to show it to the world, but I've already said too much for now."
The flame-haired beauty, who studied at the renowned Lee Strasberg acting school in New York, was first introduced to viewers as gang leader John Boy's young girlfriend in the second series.
After his murder, she spiralled further into drug addiction and by series three was working in a brothel, while having an affair with gang member Tommy.
In the final episode, a desperate Debbie visited her family home only to rob her mother's purse when she wasn't looking before fleeing.
Some of her final scenes during this fourth series have showed her acting as a drug mule for Ado, carrying heroin in her luggage on ferries into Ireland.
But last night Debbie became the 17th victim of the hit show after her overdose.
London-based Susan said despite her initial grief, show creator Stuart Carolan wrote a fitting end for Debbie.
She said: "I had done a lot of research into heroin use and its effects [both immediate and long term] over the past three years.
"It's something I have come to have a level of understanding about.
"After all the people I researched and spoke to, their stories and accounts, and all the information I had gathered, I felt ready for the scene.
"It was a beautifully tragic and very real way to handle her ending. Over the three years I've been on the show she transformed so dramatically from a glamorous girlfriend of a high-flying crime lord to a prostitute to eventually dying of an overdose and not even having anyone who cared about her enough to realise she was dead until days later.
"It was such a beautifully tragic story and while it was a very upsetting experience I am proud of how we did it, and the fact that we didn't sacrifice the grim reality to make it something else for the sake of drama or anything."
Next week will see the explosive finale of season four as the gardai Cops in on close in on Nidge and his crumbling crime empire.
Last night detectives Moynihan and Ciaran brought corrupt dentist Andrew in to the station and confronted him with evidence of the lidocaine dummy run.
Faced with the threat of 10 years banged up a frightened Andrew agreed to cooperate with them by providing shipping information on the upcoming drugs shipment.
Moynihan also visited Siobhan to asked her to co-operate with gardai, trying to sway her he revealed it was Nidge who put Tommy in a coma.
It was a beautifully tragic and real way to handle her ending SUSAN LOUGHNANE on the death of debbie
LAST WALK Friends head back home
DEADLY DOSE Denise prepares the drugs
CHAOS Nidge and Janet
FINAL SCENE Debbie and Denise after fatal overdose
CRIMELORD Cops are closing in on Nidge