‘We’ve lost an icon’

A SHY man of passion, sensitivity, grit, honesty and immense talent who should never be forgotten.

These were the words which greeted the passing of renowned actor Mick Lally, who has died aged 64.

The theatre and television performer, who was a gael- góir, was the subject of a flood of heartfelt tributes from the public, stage and political spheres yesterday as news of his untimely passing emerged.

Mary McEvoy, his on- screen wife Biddy in the long-running soap Glenroe, said: “It’s the end of an era because he was an icon to television people, an icon to theatre people. It’s just a devastating loss. He was a curmudgeon with a heart of gold.”

His Glenroe character Miley Byrne became a national institution.

Mick Lally had also worked with Oliver Stone and Gabriel Byrne.

Speaking from his New York home Mr Byrne said: “It sounds like a banality but Mick Lally was one of the most decent people I have ever met in my life.

“When you were watching him perform, you knew you were watching something special. It came out of the soul of Mick Lally.”

The actor — survived by his wife, Peggy, and their children, Saileog, Darach and Maghnus — died peacefully after a short stay in hospital. His final performance was on August 14 at the Everyman Palace in Cork city during a showing of John B Keane’s The Matchmaker.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen described Mr Lally as a “genius at capturing and portraying the essence of the characters he played”.


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