Father Ted creator Graham Linehan leads tributes to Pat Laffan

Father Ted creator Graham Linehan has led tributes to Pat Laffan, who played Pat Mustard in the Channel 4 comedy, after the death of the actor at age 79.

The Irishman was best known for his portrayal of Craggy Island’s smooth-talking milkman in the well-loved sitcom.

In a post to Twitter, Linehan said: “Just heard the sad news that Pat Laffan who played Pat Mustard in Father Ted has died.

“Rest in peace, Pat, a pleasure to work with you.”

Pauline McLynn, who played Mrs Doyle, the housekeeper of Craggy Island Parochial House, posted a short tribute to Laffan on Twitter saying: “RIP the wonderful Pat Laffan”.

Laffan’s character of a sleazy milkman was positioned as Mrs Doyle’s love interest, and the show’s writers inferred he slept with all the women he delivered milk to each morning.

Through his career he appeared in almost 40 films and made 30 television appearances. He was also known to Irish audiences for his portrayal of Mr Burgess in Roddy Doyle’s 1993 film The Snapper.

Laffan was a member of the Abbey Theatre Company throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

David Kelly funeral
Laffan appeared in almost 40 films (Niall Carson/PA)

The company’s Twitter account posted a tribute, saying the late actor would be “sorely missed”.

It read: “Very sad to hear that Pat Laffan has passed away. His career at the Abbey started in 1961 and spanned five decades. He will be sorely missed.”

They shared a picture of him in what they said was one of his earliest appearances in The Enemy Within in 1962.

Laffan took up the role of director at the Peacock Theatre, and directed at the Gate Theatre between 1979 and 1982.

The Gate also tweeted a tribute, describing Laffan as “an incredible force in the Irish theatre community”.

It said: “Irish actor Pat Laffan has passed away. Over the years, Pat was an incredible force in the Irish theatre community and was no stranger to the Gate throughout his prolific career as an actor and director.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Love/Hate actor Laurence Kinlan said: “I’m devesated (sic) to hear of the passing of the amazing Pat Laffan.

“I was very fortunate to get to work with him over the years. He was one funny man under his hard exterior. A gentle giant.

“He left us with some incredible performances, most notably as (The Snapper’s) Georgie Burgess. RIP my friend.”

The Good Wife’s Simon Delaney also paid tribute. The Dublin-born actor said Laffan was a “gent” and recalled working alongside him.

He said: “Very sad to hear of the passing of Pat Laffan. Had the pleasure of working with him a few years ago. A gent of a man. And a fine actor. May he Rest In Peace.”

Retired Irish rugby union player Brian O’Driscoll hailed Laffan for his turn as Burgess in the 1993 television film The Snapper.

He wrote: “RIP Pat Laffan. Georgie Burgess was one of the all time great characters.”

Laffan played an older man who gets his daughter’s friend, played by Tina Kellegher, pregnant after a night of heavy drinking.

Laffan also appeared in the BBC sitcom EastEnders and in the RTE medical drama The Clinic.

A statement from his representative said: “It is with tremendous sadness that we here at the Lisa Richards Agency can confirm Pat Laffan’s passing today.

“Pat was one of the very first clients of the agency but much more than that, he was a close friend, a mentor and a hugely important supporter of the company’s founders Lisa and Richard Cook and for many of the staff of the agency who had the pleasure to represent and work with him over the last almost thirty years.”

It continued: “All here will remember him first and foremost as our friend and mentor and we will miss him terribly. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.”