Arriving on the doorstep,of her father's new lodgings,Niamh Musgrove begs for somewhere where the family can stay.It's just short term, until the damage to the house can be fixed.They had been flooded and the ceilings had crashed all around them.Unknown to Niamh,her youngest son Matt,had flooded the loft while attempting to water his latest crop of marijuana. Another unknown problem, soon to raise it's head, was that her husband Joey had failed to renew the insurance, having spent the money instead on drink.
Joey was working as both a mini cab driver and as a milkman.
To calm his nerves before informing Niamh about the lack of house insurance, he accepted a drink from Jimmy Corkhill, that night while taking a fare, he was pulled over by the police and breathalysed. He confided in Luke who offered to help his father financially.When the case came to court, Joey was found guilty and banned from driving for 6 months.
A colleague, who had driven Joey to court that day,grasped the opportunity to blackmail Joey for his silence.Borrowing from their savings and in desperation for more money,Joey tried to swindle the insurance company by setting fire to their house.Drunk and overcome by smoke, he collapsed. Luke, sent out by his mother to look for him, broke into the house and rescued his father from the fire.
While in hospital recovering, Niamh's father Alec, tells her how Joey has spent all their savings. When Niamh hears of Joeys' driving ban and of his being blackmailed she tackles the "friend" threatening him with her boys.....
Things in the household go from bad to worse when Luke is arrested for the alleged rape of Nikki Shadwick.The whole family are rejected by the neighbours and Sinbad asks them to leave his house. Niamh is distraught and begs Jackie Corkhill to talk to Sinbad. She does and he decides that the family can only stay if Luke is not sent down. The courts decision to make an issue of drug rape, prolong the ordeal as Luke is commited to trial.
Ryan is devastated by this decision and persecutes Nikki, even threatening her in her own house. When the police were called to question him, he denied it, causing more animosity between the two families. Supporting Luke by visiting him in prison, he began dating Katie Rogers.(She worked as secretary to the Law Firm representing Luke)
Katie had had a previous relationship with Nikki's brother Jason,much to Ryan's amusement.
Matt,forever thinking of ways to make easy money,robs Greg Shadwick of a bag of hardcore.With his enterprising mate Bosco,they create the new cult of Shad and establish themselves at Glastonbury selling "stones of Shad" for a fiver a pouch! Stealing a computer from school,they set up a website on the internet and sell their produce to a wider unsuspecting audience.Seeing how most of the public were computer illiterate and wary of the millenium bug, they sold their services to the public as computer programmers until Jaqui D's sister, Megan, turned the tables on them and took them for their hard earned cash.
Meanwhile, Kelly secretly becomes good friends with Emily Shadwick and despite being shunned by most girls from school they continue to go out and about together, with only their respective grandparents knowledge and support.