One of Ireland’s most beloved character actors died today. Mick Lally, known to many of us as Miley in the long-running soap Glenroe, passed away peacefully in hospital this morning. He was 64.
Lally began his career as a teacher and secured a part in the premiere of Brian Friel’s play Translations in 1980 while a member of the Field Day Theatre. Company.
His work on television in the RTÉ series Bracken and later his role as Miley in Glenroe made him a household name.
He also starred in the BBC television series, Ballykissangel, and in the award-winning Ballroom of Romance.
Lally’s versatility as an actor extended to the cinema where he appeared in Irish language films. He was a fluent Irish speaker and an advocate of the language.
Lally also starred in Hollywood-funded films including Alexander, directed by Oliver Stone, and provided the voice in the animated film The Secret of Kells.
He is survived by his wife Peggy and their three children.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen has said he is ‘shocked and saddened’ by Mick Lally’s death. Mr Cowen added: “He was one of the most loved actors of his generation and will be dearly missed by the public and his colleagues in theatre and television.”
Minister for Culture Mary Hanafin has paid tribute, saying his contribution to the theatrical world had been immense. “His wonderful ability to communicate with his audiences whether in the intimate setting in the early days of Druid, on stage in the National Theatre or in the sitting rooms of homes every Sunday for over 10 years playing the character of ‘Miley’ in Glenroe, Mick Lally was an integral part of the world of acting and, by extension, our society.”
Additional reporting from RTE.ie