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Dublin: 6 °C Monday 9 December, 2019

Actor and comedian Niall Tóibín dies aged 89

He passed away in Dublin this morning.

ACTOR AND COMEDIAN Niall Tóibín has died.

RTÉ reports that the 89-year-old passed away in Dublin this morning following a long illness.

Tóibín, who was born in Cork city in 1929, was famous for his comedic performances, as well as roles in Ballykissangel, Far and Away and Rat.

In 1967, he appeared in the stage version of Brendan Behan’s Borstal Boy at the Abbey Theatre and went on to win a Tony award for his performance on Broadway, where the play opened in 1970.

He was given the Irish Film and Television Academy’s (IFTA) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, and was also awarded the Freedom of Cork in 2015.

He is predeceased by his wife Judy, and is survived by five children.

RTE has reportedly commissioned the making of a documentary about his life, which is expected to be broadcast later this year.

His funeral arrangements will be announced in coming days.

President Michael D Higgins was among those who paid tribute to Toibín following news of his passing.

“His contribution to Irish theatre was a unique one, in both Irish and English. The depth of interpretation that he brought to a wide variety of characters showed a very deep intellectual understanding and, above all, sensitivity to the nuance of Irish life,” Higgins said.

He added: “While a huge audience will have adored his comic genius, his work included all the genres – stage, television, film and radio. To the latter he brought a distinctive voice which made him a much-loved interpreter of Irish life and its challenges.” 

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan also expressed her sadness on hearing of his passing.

“Niall was a uniquely talented performer, light-hearted, funny, sharp-witted and intensely powerful both as an actor and comedian,” she said. 

“Niall’s career included work on radio, stage, television and cinema, earning him recognition in Ireland and internationally. He was also hugely loved and respected by all who worked with him.”

“My thoughts are with his children Seán, Muireann, Aisling, Sighle and Fiana, his grandchildren and his many close friends. Suaimhneas síoraí dá anam uasal.”

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