Niall Toibin dead: Ballykissangel actor dies, aged 89

Rachel McGrath
BBC

Irish actor and comedian Niall Toibin has died in Dublin after a long illness at the age of 89.

Born in County Cork in 1929, Toibin had a long career across radio, stage, film and television, including roles in Ryan’s Daughter and Veronica Guerin.

He was best known for playing Fr Frank “Mack” MacAnally for six series of the 1990s BBC drama Ballykissangel.

President of Ireland Michael D Higgins said he learned of Toibin’s death with sadness.

(BBC )

He said in a statement: “The range of his work was vast and included unforgettable performances in all of the Irish theatres and some of the most important theatres in London and New York.

“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.”

Dee Forbes, the director-general of Ireland’s national broadcaster RTE, paid tribute to Toibin after his death on Wednesday: “He started acting in the 1950s and spent 14 great years with the Radio Ereann Players.

“He became, ultimately, a familiar face on RTE to generations of Irish people.

“A proud Corkman, he was as at home in film as on the stage, and an especially entertaining guest on many Late Late Shows over the years.”

Toibin is survived by his children Sean, Muireann, Aisling, Sighle and Fiana.

With reporting by Press Association.