Sad news yesterday of the death at the age of just 64 of actor Mick Lally. He was an icon of the Irish stage and screen, best known to people of my age for his role as Miley Byrne in RTÉ's Glenroe series. As the ficticious village of Glenroe (actually Kilcoole) was set in Co Wicklow, I remember initially feeling embarrassed at his portrayal of a Wicklow man. Some people wondered if we all went around saying "Holy God!" all the time! However, I got very fond of Glenroe and watched it many times in its early days.
I only saw Mick Lally on stage once - this was in the Olympia many years ago when he played the role of Sanbatch Daly in M.J. Molloy's The Wood of the Whispering. He was by far the highlight of the play, and it was a joy to be part of the audience.
I think my most favourite memories of Mick Lally will be his voice - it was so distinctive, strong, and very Irish. He voiced many advertisements on radio and TV - "Kilmeaden - the fillet of cheddar" being among his best. I got a pleasant surprise many years ago when Roma and I visited the Foxford Woollen Mills in Co Mayo. Part of the tour around the old mill was a multi-media presentation about the mill narrated by Lally. He of course was from Mayo (Tourmakeady) - I recall his voice telling the story of Foxford as if he was part of the history himself and worked all his life in the mill.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.