Limerick TD Tom Neville and Fair City actress Jenny Dixon talk relationships in politics

Maria Flannery

Reporter:

Maria Flannery

Jenny Dixon and Tom Neville TD at the races in Limerick in July Picture: Alan Place

Jenny Dixon and Tom Neville TD at the races in Limerick in July Picture: Alan Place

A LIMERICK TD has appeared on the cover of a celebrity magazine for a joint interview with his actress girlfriend, in which he admits that he loves “the cut and thrust” of politics.

Fine Gael TD Tom Neville’s relationship with Fair City actress Jenny Dixon has been well-documented since the pair met at last year’s Richard Harris Film Festival, and things are going from strength to strength for the increasingly higher profile couple.

Trained actor Tom Neville, Croagh, has recently wrapped filming on his first feature - and has also just been promoted to secretary of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party.

His girlfriend Jenny stars as Kerri-Ann in Fair City, and it is the pair’s shared passion for the arts that they say has made the relationship stick.

“I don’t feel like I’m talking in a different language when I’m talking about my passions,” said Jenny.

The interview in RSVP magazine offers a glimpse into the struggles of maintaining a new relationship, while serving in the political sphere. Both Neville and Dixon work unusual and long hours, and are often based in opposite sides of the country.

“We both understand each other’s schedules, but it also makes you appreciate every moment you do have together. Even coffee during a busy work day and simply catching up can be lovely; you really appreciate that and enjoy it,” said Jenny of their demanding work lives.

The actress said that “understanding” was the key to their busy relationship.

“There’s an understanding of what each other does and there’s an appreciation that we have for each other. Our hectic lives are just how we work, so it’s nice that we both understand that.”

Politicians in all parties can come under fire from colleagues and the public, but Dixon said that she dwells on the “positive feedback” directed at her partner.

Mr Neville said that he is “humbled that the people of Limerick have allowed” him to pursue full-time politics.

“I love what I do. I am honoured to be given the position. Meeting people is one of my favourite parts. No two days are ever the same. Some can be very rewarding and others can be challenging,” said the TD.

When asked about his ultimate role in politics, Deputy Neville said that he tries to do his job to the best of his ability, and his “work ethic remains as a template regardless of the position”.

“But I believe it [the work ethic] fosters and cultivates future positions that may arise,” he added.

And when asked if he finds it awkward to watch his partner cosy up to her on-screen husband Decco Bishop, he replied: “No, but it is funny when I’m told the Bishops will be after me!”