Irene (credited as Aunty Irene), is the aunt of Lofty Holloway – his mother's sister. Lofty does not have a close relationship with his stern mother, but he dotes on his aunt Irene and she is the only relative he has contact with. untie Irene first appears in July 1986, when her nephew Lofty and his fiancée Michelle Fowler visit her in the nursing home where she lives. She has been told that she only had six months to live, as she has terminal cancer. She tells Michelle that she had been in love with a man in 1938, but he was killed in an accident and she had never married.
She attends Lofty and Michelle's wedding in September 1986, only to see her beloved nephew jilted at the altar. Later in the year Lofty and Michelle sort out their differences and finally get married. Irene worries that Michelle is merely using Lofty, but Michelle promises she will not hurt him. Satisfied, Irene gives their union her blessing and also pays for their honeymoon as a wedding gift.
Irene visits Lofty and Michelle in March 1987, giving Lofty instructions about her [funeral. Irene worries that Lofty will not cope once she has gone and tries to make him accept that she will soon be dead. Lofty is distressed at the prospect of losing his aunt and cries into her lap. In June 1987 Lofty visits Irene at the hospital. She is in obvious pain and can no longer see. The following episode Lofty hears that his aunt has finally succumbed to the cancer that had been slowly killing her for years. He attends her funeral on 23 June 1987.