Michael Twomey had ‘war chest of wisdom’

Beloved Cork actor Michael Twomey never got the opportunity to see what was thought to be his final acting role in the movie which is now in its final stages of post-production, it has emerged.

Mr Twomey’s remains were cremated yesterday after large crowds attended his requiem Mass at St Michael’s Church, Blackrock and sympathised with his wife, Marie, and children Laura, Des and Sharon and other members of the family.

Those attending the Mass were asked to make a donation to Cancer Research if they so wished.

Michael, who died at the Bon Secours hospital last Wednesday, was best known as half of the ‘Cha and Miah’ comic duo, but also performed many other roles, especially in the theatre.

Brendan Hayes, director and producer of Inlaws and Outlaws, in which Michael played a role, said entertainment lovers in Ireland and particularly Cork had said goodbye to a man who inspired everyone in every sense of the word.

He said Mr Twomey was an incredibly talented, kind and patient man and that he was deeply humbled to have directed him in Inlaws and Outlaws, which was filmed in west Cork late last year and is to be released shortly.

Mr Hayes said it is a cruel irony that Michael never got the opportunity to see what was possibly his final acting role. After decades of playing to huge crowds on stage and on television, it was, as Michael described, a uniquely wonderful experience to play the part of the mischievous and cunning Father Buckley to a church full of extras as part of the filming in Dunmanway last year.

“He graced the altar in costume, and when he delivered his lines the whole church erupted in laughter,” said Mr Hayes. “While this was a brilliant reaction, it was actually washing out his lines when trying to record them so we had no choice but to film his scenes separately once the extras had departed.

“Despite having seen his scenes so many times throughout the editing, I still laugh and smile as he delivers his lines with a twinkle in his eye.”

Mr Hayes said all those involved in the production will miss him fondly.

“In saying that, he has taught us an awful lot with what I have often referred to as his ‘war chest of wisdom’ and his legacy will encourage and inspire us going forward,” he said.

At the Mass, well known playwright Declan Hassett paid tribute to Mr Twomey, saying that when he appeared as Miah on television in the 1970s, audiences were initially more struck by his unique Cork accent rather than his words.

Mr Hassett said Mr Twomey Fully deserved the honour of being awarded the Freedom of Cork city four years ago alongside his comedy foil Frank Duggan and the equally talented Billa O’Connell.

Among the mourners were Michael’s comedy partner Frank Duggan, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, Cork Lord Mayor Tony Fitzgerald, and Gerry Barnes, former executive director of Cork Opera House.

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