In association with officialkeithduffy.com
In association with
In the meantime, the plans to open The Joinery re-commenced, this time with Leanne and Nick at the helm. They were looking for a chef for the new venue and offered the job to Ciaran. Needing more than being a barman, he jumped at the chance of being involved & in the process; he quit his job in the pub - although it took him a little time to break the news to his boss and did so in the form of a letter! Unhappy at Ciaran defecting to the competition, Liz barred him from The Rovers. Michelle quit as barmaid in protest to support her man.
Ciaran also took something very precious with him to The Joinery; he had sneakily stolen Betty's hotpot recipe to add to his menu - his, however, was a tapas twist on the Lancashire dish. Betty was - needless to say - fuming when she found out.
Ciaran was working hard alongside Nick, Leanne & barmaid, Cheryl to get The Joinery ready for the grand opening. At the same time, Michelle started work with Carla at the Underworld factory as trainee assistant manager. The wine bar opening night was a great success and Ciaran spent the next few weeks concentrating on his work in The Joinery kitchen and occasional shifts behind the bar. Michelle was a frequent visitor on her lunch times and was looking for support from her boyfriend after being given too much responsibility too quickly by Carla, whose focus on her business wasn't what it should have been.
During that time, Nick and Leanne had started an affair and Ciaran nearly caught them together on one occasion in the wine bar. However, it was Carla and Peter that aroused suspicion with Michelle - Carla had quickly rushed off the phone when Michelle entered the factory office, and had been vague with the details when asked who she was talking to. (That, coupled with Carla's absences from work caused her to wonder what was going on) Michelle pressed redial and was shocked when Peter answered; she put the phone down without speaking. Michelle expressed her concerns to Ciaran, who then tried to bring it up with his best mate. Peter fiercely denied any affair & was annoyed his friend could think he would risk things with Leanne. (At that time, Peter was only helping Carla with her increasing drink problem.)
While all that was going on, Peter and Leanne were preparing for their wedding. Ciaran had been asked to be best man (sharing the duties with Peter's son, Simon) and it was left to him to sort the stag do. Knowing his best mate's problem with drink, Ciaran suggested organising an alcohol-free night (an idea Steve McDonald had also come up with) so the groom didn’t have to watch the rest of the party get drunk when he couldn't. Peter was having none of it, though; insisting they carry on with normal traditions.
The night of the stag & hen do's arrived; Peter's was held at The Joinery, while Leanne's was at The Rovers. Ciaran was working as well as hosting the stag do & ominously was having issues with the venue's gas oven, meaning hot food was off the menu for the night.
The lads started off having a good time but as the evening went on, trouble started in the form of Cheryl's abusive ex-husband, Chris starting on her new boyfriend, Lloyd (the cabbie.) Nick had also asked Peter into his office with the plan of spilling the beans of his affair with Leanne. Out in the bar, Ciaran had waded into the fight between Chris & Lloyd, trying to stop it
Suddenly, an explosion ripped through the bar, leaving everybody inside in absolute peril - from the hustle of the stag do to a blazing inferno in minutes. After a short time, Ciaran extricated himself from underneath fallen rubble. Seemingly having escaped with minor cuts and bruises; he began trying to get some of the other people out to safety with Jason & Kirk, who had also got away with lesser injuries. Peter & Nick were trapped in the office at the back of the building, along with Ashley Peacock, who had gone into say goodbye to Peter at the time of the explosion.
The horror didn't end there, however... As The Joinery was built underneath the viaduct archway, a passing tram careered off the track onto the street, destroying The Kabin and Dev's Corner Shop leaving more of the street's residents in trouble.
After having got as many of the injured out of the bar as possible, Ciaran began helping to clear more of the wreckage in the hope of freeing anybody underneath. While doing so, it was brought to his attention that Sunita was trapped in the back room of the corner shop. Ciaran rushed around the back with Dev and did everything in his power to get her out. The two of them lifted a concrete beam that was lying across Sunita's stomach and Ciaran noticed she was losing a lot of blood. Dev froze seeing his wife that way and crumbled but Ciaran brought him to his senses, saying his wife needed him. While Dev tried to keep Sunita awake, Ciaran continued to remove the rest of the debris from around her. Once he had done, he lifted Sunita away from the shop, onto the street (near the pub) to look for medical help. Before they took Sunita away in an ambulance, Dev sincerely thanked Ciaran for everything he'd done, saying he would never forget it.
Ciaran reluctantly got himself checked out in the makeshift hospital at the cafe; Doctor Carter told him he was safe but he should take it easy. He went over to Claire who was sitting with her sons, waiting for news on husband, Ashley (still trapped in the wreckage of The Joinery.) Ciaran tried to reassure her that the fire fighters knew what they were doing and he'd be ok. Sadly, that wasn't to be... Peter, who was unconscious, was helped out by Nick & Ashley, Nick was the least injured of the three and also escaped but tragically the rest of the building collapsed before Ashley could make it out to safety. He died a hero, having held the beam up that allowed Nick to drag Peter out.
Written & Researched by Leonie Stevens
Click to view guide & full episode playlist
In association with