Derry actress Roma has revealed to an American website how her coat was grazed by a bullet while visiting her mother’s grave in the City Cemetery when she was a child.
Speaking to Irish America.com Roma told how she was pinned down during a gunfight in the cemetery.
Roma also spoke about the many film and TV roles that she had been offered over the years.
However with ‘Touched by an Angel’ and the role of Monica, a messenger of God, she says she was given a chance to express the faith that had sustained her when, as a ten year old, she lost her mother and faced years growing up during the Troubles in Derry.
‘Touched by an Angel’ (with an audience of over 20 million viewers a week) would become one of the highest rated TV series ever with multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, in prime time from 1994 – 2003 and still being seen in syndication.
Roma’s success enabled her to give back and the birth of her daughter, Reilly (named after her mother Maureen O’Reilly Downey) made her sensitive to the needs of children. It was at this time that she became involved with ‘Operation Smile’, a non-profit medical group that provides surgeries for children around the world who are born with severe cleft lip and palate deformities. Downey is more than just a spokesperson for the organization. She has travelled on several missions with ‘Operation Smile’.