Death of one of Ireland’s greatest ever raconteurs, Niall Tóibín, at 89

President Michael D Higgins is leading tributes to one of Ireland’s greatest raconteurs, Niall Tóibín, who has died after a long illness, aged 89.

In a statement President Higgins said: “It is with great sadness that I have learned of the death of Niall Tóibín.

“His contribution to Irish theatre was a unique one, in both Irish and English. The depth of interpretation that he brought to a wide variety of characters showed a very deep intellectual understanding and, above all, sensitivity to the nuance of Irish life.

“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.

“Sabina and I send our deepest condolences to his children Sighle, Aisling, Fiana, Sean and Muireann and the other members of his family, and to all those who so loved his work.”

Niall died in Dublin early today after a long illness.

He is predeceased by his wife, Judy, and is survived by his children Sean, Muireann, Aisling, Sighle and Fiana and his seven grandchildren.

He was born in Cork city on 21 November 1929.

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