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Mick Lally Passes On To That Other Theatre

The Late Mick Lally

Mick Lally, probably best known for playing Miley Byrne, latter for which he won a Jacob’s Award in 1979, passed away this morning after a short stay in hospital, at the age of 64.

Born in November 1945 in Tourmakeady, Co Mayo, Mick was the eldest of a family of seven children; five sisters and one brother. He was educated at the local national school in Tourmakeady and went from there to St Mary’s College in Galway. He later studied History and Irish at UCG going on in 1969 to teach History and Irish in Tuam for approximately six years.

This Mayo born teacher, later turned actor appeared in numerous TV shows including ‘Glenroe’, ‘Ballykissangel’, ‘Bracken’, and the ‘Ballroom of Romance’. He also featured in Oliver Stone’s ‘Alexander’, ‘Ros na Rún’ and ‘The Secret of Kells’ and was also cast in Tyrone born Brian Friel‘s ‘Translations’ back in 1980. He went on to become a member of the Field Day Theatre Company and co-founder of the much lauded Druid Theatre Company with Garry Hynes and Marie Mullen, as well as treading the boards in many of John Millington Synge‘s plays.

No stranger to Thurles town, Mick regularly appeared at the Source Arts Centre where in recent months he performed opposite his Westmeath born and ‘Glenroe’ co-star Mary McEvoy in J.B. Keane’s ‘The Matchmaker’ and with George McMahon in ‘Caught in the Net’.

A fluent speaker of the Irish language, Mick confessed and classified himself as an atheist and regarded religion as the stuff of nonsense and “codology”, but his love of studying local characters and his passion for all things Irish was for ever evident in his unique stage performances.

In July last he launched ‘Tuar Mhic Éadaigh: Stair agus Seanchas’, a new book on the history and folklore of the Tourmakeady area by Fr Pádraig Standun.

One of Irelands most loved actors of his generation, Mick will be dearly missed by the public and by his many colleagues both in theatre and television. His national and international reputation truely earned him the deserved status of an icon of Irish theatre.

Thurles would like to express their sympathy to his wife Peige, their children Saileog, Maghnus and Darach and to his parents.

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