Mick Lally: a loss to Irish theatre
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Mick Lally in 'The Shadow of the Glen' by J.M. Synge, in Druid Theatre Company's production from the 'DruidSynge' cycle, 2005.

Photo: Keith Pattison


Mick Lally: a loss to Irish theatre

The death of actor Mick Lally comes as very sad news, not only for his colleagues in Druid Theatre Company and the theatre world in general, but to viewers who felt they knew him, having watched him in the role of Miley Byrne in Glenroe on RTÉ television for many years. The founder member of Druid died on Tuesday morning (August 31st 2010) aged 64, after a short illness, and will be an enormous loss to Irish theatre, film and television. 

Pat Moylan, Chairperson of the Arts Council, stated: "He was a talented actor and a gentleman, and his loss will be felt by those both outside and within the wider arts community.”

Garry Hynes, Artistic Director of Druid, who co-founded the company with Mick Lally and Marie Mullen in 1975, issued this statement: "The mood in Druid is one of total shock and disbelief. Mick Lally was a man without measure. He was my hero and I looked up to him. Druid owes everything to him. If he hadn't agreed to join Marie and I in the summer of 1975 then Druid would not have existed. Everyone at Druid has lost a colleague and dear friend agus inniú chaill an tír seo duine lách cineálta uasail. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis."

At Galway's Town Hall Theatre on Tuesday night, after the curtain call for the performance of Druid's current production, The Silver Tasssie, Garry Hynes and Marie Mullen presented a moving tribute onstage to Mick Lally. Hynes said that it was "the saddest night of our lives" and that Mick Lally was "a great man, a great actor". The three friends had shared a love of the work of J.M. Synge, and she went on to read from one of Synge's 'Sonnets from Laura in Death', his lyrical prose translations of Petrarch's sonnets. Then, Marie Mullen read the final lines of Deirdre of the Sorrows, which Lally performed in as part of the 'DruidSynge' cycle of the playwright's work in 2005, chosen, she said, because these were the last lines he ever heard onstage in a Druid production. She concluded in Irish, saying what a great gift he had given them all. "Slán go fóill Mick". A standing ovation followed. 

Irish Theatre Magazine would like to extend sincere sympathy to the family and friends of Mick Lally.  








Sheila Hegarty says Wed, 01 September 2010 9:16
It's great that Garry Hynes was there on the stage on the night. I read somewhere she was in Finland. It must have been hard for all the actors as well on the night to go on and do the play. It's so sad.
Ronan paterson says Thu, 02 September 2010 3:49
Devastating news. Mick was a wonderful actor, and an even better human being. He leaves a hole in the world.
Dara McGee says Thu, 02 September 2010 6:23
We have lost one of the great actors and Gaeilgóirs and the ultimate gentleman. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anim dílís

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