Val Falvey T.D.
Val Falvey (Ardal O'Hanlon) is a recently elected TD who lives just outside of the small town of Kilmehill - somewhere in the Midlands. He has inherited the seat from his late father, who represented the constituency for 25 years while Val pursued his chosen career of auctioneering (a business also handed down to him by his father).
Val is not wildly ambitious and generally desires an easy life. He does not enjoy the daily grind of enduring his constituents' woes and grumbles as he listens to their never-ending complaints in his regular clinic, housed in a run down caravan (something else he has inherited from his father). He does, however, enjoy the perks of the job, such as free trips abroad, and meeting celebrities such as Linda Martin.
Val, who is considered something of a lightweight by his ambitious and ruthless local rival, Councillor Dessie Clinch, is helped in his often reluctant engagement with the cut and thrust of constituency politics by his friend and advisor, Pat Daly (Owen Roe), a hardbitten, but wise and experienced political operator who has seen and done it all in. Pat, a man of unusual sophistication and taste for someone of his vocation, also seems to have something of a yearning for Val's wife Christine (Amelia Crowley), which Val is (inexplicably) unaware of.
Through bumbling, the lack of sufficient political cunning, and sheer bad luck, Val stumbles from one crisis to another, and his unwanted knack for constantly getting into trouble sees him regularly hauled in front of the party chief whip, John Brolly (Phelim Drew), a tough Dubliner whom Val fears greatly.
Meanwhile, his domestic life is also far from tranquil. Wife Christine desires a better life, and is unhappy with the constraints and lack of intellectual stimulation which she experiences living in a small town. Her frustrations are taken out on Val at regular intervals. Meanwhile, her husband struggles with his relationships with his children, 17-year-old Kieran, who rarely talks with his family, and communicates with the world through text messaging, and 19-year-old Bronagh, an energetic political campaigner (at the opposite end of the spectrum from Val) who constantly berates him for the corrupt state of the country.
The life of a rural TD is rarely glamorous and puts severe pressure on Val's fragile ego. It's a tough job - but somebody's got to do it.
An angry constituent demands that Val pay her compensation after she develops a rash whilst swimming in a local lake. Val, however, is much is more interested in meeting Linda Martin at a local hotel opening. Meanwhile, Val's right hand man Pat decides it's time to 're-brand' the whole Val Falvey image.
A mysterious smell is causing consternation among the local populace. Pat deals with the problem while Val attends a planning meeting in the Dail. Away from Pat's supervision in Dublin, Val makes the huge mistake of filling out an IQ test which is published in a student magazine. Chief whip John Brolley is not pleased.