Death of Dónall Farmer: A fine legacy

The death at the age of 81 of Dónall Farmer is a sad day for Irish TV and theatre drama.

Though not a widely known figure, Mr Farmer was one of the most creative and influential television actors and directors of his time and his personal modesty and quiet demeanour belied the fact that he had a range of theatrical talents.

Although his best known role was as kindly priest Father Tim Devereaux in Glenroe, he was also an established stage actor and appeared in a number of episodes of Remington Steele, the 1980s American TV drama that starred fellow Irishman Pierce Brosnan.

He directed 50 episodes of The Riordans, a weekly series that broke the mould in the production of soap operas by taking the cameras out of the television studios and filming each episode on location.

Its rural setting was also the inspiration for the creation by Yorkshire Television of its British equivalent, Emmerdale Farm.

Mr Farmer, who originated from Blackpool in Cork, was also an Abbey actor and one of the founders of the Everyman theatre in his native city. He will be missed.

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