Rita Brannigan was the girlfriend of Paddy Kirk. Rita and Paddy met on a night out in July 2005, but it was only until Rita met Emily Kirk, she realised Paddy was married. Rita left after apologising to Emily.
Paddy and Rita meet again in March 2007 when Paddy goes to a model making class and finds Rita as the naked model. Rita asks a now single Paddy out for a drink, which he accepts. Rita gives Paddy her number, but it gets smudged and Rita furiously confronts Paddy. Paddy tells her what happened and the pair plan their next date. However, Paddy ends up blowing off an increasingly annoyed Rita. Paddy invites Rita to a party at Home Farm, and Rita arrives looking stunning. As she and Paddy head to the car, Marlon nearly knocks Rita down, who is saved in the nick of time by Paddy. Paddy becomes confused as to why Rita is making such a big fuss, but it all becomes apparent when Rita's parents reveal that Rita's sister Sally Brannigan was killed by a hit-and-run driver in August 2006. Paddy's anger at Rita making too much of a fuss pushes her a way and any attempts of a reconciliation only prove futile. However, Paddy does manage to win her back.
For Paddy's birthday in July 2007, Rita organises a surprise party. Paddy is unappreciative of the effort Rita made and Rita leaves, hurt at his reaction. Their relationship ends a few days later when Paddy has a major business problem which he blames Rita for, ultimately deciding they need a break from each other until it's all sorted.