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Connor is forced to leave the country, so Michelle asks him to marry her!
Erinsborough’s Irish traveller Connor O’Neill has found love and success on his pit-stop in Oz. But this month, his new life is threatened when he realises he has violated the terms of his Visa…
“A man from immigration calls the Scully home wanting to speak to Joe,” explains Belfast-bred Patrick Harvey, who plays Connor. “Michelle takes a message and tells Connor, who knows it must have been something to do with him, but what? So they look through his papers and make a shock discovery – he is only allowed to work for an employer for six months at a time, and he’s been working for Joe for nine!”
“It’s actually a very innocent mistake,” continues Patrick, “because when Connor signed the papers he couldn’t read. But this doesn’t make it any less serious, and he could still be thrown out of the country within 24 hours! Later, when they see a stranger going into the Scully house, Connor and Michelle assume he is from the authorities and panic. The pair steal Joe’s old ute and speed out of Ramsay Street. They give Joe a ring and he confirms that he has had a visit from the Immigration people.”
On 11 April, Michelle surprises Connor with a drastic scheme to keep her boyfriend in Australia.
“Michelle suggests they get married,” reveals Patrick. “At first, Connor says no, but then he thinks about it and agrees her idea might just work. After all, he does love Michelle. He says yes, but insists they tell her parents.”
"Unfortunately, the reaction from Joe and Lyn is far from enthusiastic – and there is an even bigger snag to the nuptials. “Since Michelle is under 18, she needs her folks’ consent to marry, which of course she won’t get. In New Zealand though, the law states Michelle could marry at 16, so they call Steph and ask her to sneak their passports out of the house.”
A reluctant Steph agrees to help out, and Michelle is elated. However, there is a distinct chance in Connor’s attitude…
“He begins to have his doubts. Connor cares for Michelle, but he doesn’t want to ruin her life. So he buys a ticket for himself in secret to return to Ireland. He then rings Joe and tells him to meet his daughter at the airport. Michelle has no idea of this until the last minute, when her dad arrives. She’s upset Connor has done this and begs him to stay. Joe also wants him to stay, but after all this Connor’s not sure if it would be right.” Have we seen the last of Mr O’Neill then? Tune in on April 17 to find out.
This article originally appeared in All About Soap magazine, dated April 2003 and was written by Jason Herbison