Lally asked mourners to aid Pakistan

ICONIC Irish actor Mick Lally, who is to be cremated later today, has made one last memorable gesture by asking mourners to donate to the Pakistan flood relief fund.

In a move in keeping with the focus he paid throughout his life to those in less fortunate positions than himself, he had asked that those attending his funeral service transfer funds to the relief effort “if desirable”, instead of buying flowers.

A native of Tourmakeady in Co Mayo, the 64-year-old stage and screen actor died in St James’s Hospital on Tuesday morning after a short illness.

A funeral service in his honour will take place at 2pm today at Newlands Cross crematorium chapel in Dublin, which is expected to be attended by hundreds of mourners from the acting, political and general public spheres.

While Mr Lally was a fluent gaelgoir who consistently voiced his support for the Irish language, human rights and socialist causes, he is most fondly remembered for his role as Miley Byrne in the soap opera Glenroe which became a national institution in the 1980s.

During his career, the actor – who is survived by his wife Peige and their children Saileog, Darach and Maghnus – worked with a host of world-famous names, including the director Oliver Stone and actor Gabriel Byrne.

Speaking from his home in New York Mr Byrne, who began his career on the television soap Bracken, said Mr Lally was a remarkable performer, and person.

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

The actor’s final performance was on August 14 at the Everyman Palace in Cork city during a showing of John B Keane’s play The Matchmaker.

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