Niall Tóibín

Niall Tóibín
Born (1929-11-21) 21 November 1929
Cork, County Cork, Ireland
Occupation Actor-comedian
Years active 1950s–present

Niall Tóibín (born 21 November 1929) is an Irish comedian and actor. Born in Cork into an Irish speaking family,[1] Tóibín grew up on the north-side of the city in Bishop's Field.[2] He has appeared in Ryan's Daughter, Bracken, The Ballroom of Romance, The Irish R.M., Caught in a Free State, Ballykissangel, Far and Away, and Veronica Guerin, and has played Brendan Behan too. He was awarded honorary lifetime membership of the Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) in 2011.

Early life

Tóibín was born in 1929 in Cork, Ireland, the sixth of seven children, born to Siobhán (née Ní Shúileabháin) and Seán Tóibín, native Irish speakers. His parents married in 1917. His father, Seán Tóibín, was born in Passage West, County Cork, and his parents came from Waterford and West Cork. Seán Tóibín was a teacher in the School of Commerce in Cork city and the author of two books, Blátha an Bhóithrín and Troscán na mBánta, on wayside and meadowland flowers, both written in the Irish language. His mother, Siobhán Ni Shúileabháin, came from Beaufort, County Kerry.

Niall was born on the southside of Cork city in Friars’ Walk. He was raised with Irish and has used the language in his professional career, notably in the film Poitín. His siblings include Siobhán, Tomás (a poet), Deaglán, Filmin, Góbnait and Colm Tóibín.

As a child he sang in the cathedral choir and the Opera House in Cork. In his teens he joined a drama society attached to the Keating Branch of the Gaelic League. He was educated by the Irish Christian Brothers at the North Monastery (North Mon) after which he left Cork for a job in the Civil Service in Dublin in January 1947.[2]

In 1957, Tóibín married Frances Judith "Judy" Kenny (died 26 June 2002, aged 70) in Dublin, He has five children, Seán, Muireann, Aisling, Sighle and Fíona, and seven grandchildren (Niall, Ella, Jack, Billy, Francie, Barry and Marianna).

Tóibín divides his time between New York and his home in Dublin.


Tóibín started acting in the 1950s and spent fourteen years with the Radio Éireann Players.

From Ryan's Daughter and Bracken in the 1970s, to The Ballroom of Romance, The Irish R.M., Brideshead Revisited (TV serial) and Caught in a Free State in the 1980s, and, more recently, Far and Away, Ballykissangel and Veronica Guerin, Toibin's entertainment career in television, film and theatre has spanned over four decades. He has also acted for the radio, such as his guest appearance in the BBC Radio 4 series Baldi.

In 2005 he "cemented" his hands outside the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin. He made a speech saying, "It will be a proud day for me. My appearances on the Gaiety stage are without doubt the highlights of my career and I am honoured to have been asked to give my prints," said the former Ballykissangel star, who was joined by five of his seven grandchildren to celebrate the event.

He played Dr. Paul O'Callaghan in the first series of the Irish TV programme The Clinic.

He played Judge Ballaugh, alongside Cate Blanchett, in Jerry Bruckheimer's film Veronica Guerin.


In 1973, Tóibín won a Jacob's Award for his performance in the RTÉ comedy series, If The Cap Fits.

On 29 October 2002, Tóibín accepted a Best Actor Award in a Dublin ceremony.

Tóibín received an Honorary Doctor of Arts Degree from University College Cork (UCC) on 4 June 2010.

Tóibín was honoured with the Irish Film and Television Academy's (IFTA) Lifetime Achievement Award at a ceremony at the Irish Film Institute on 3 November 2011.[3] Gay Byrne, Stephen Rea and then President-elect of Ireland Michael D. Higgins were there too.[4][5][6] The award meant Tóibín became an honorary IFTA lifetime member.[7]


  1. IrishInBritain - Interview With Niall Toibin By Gerry Molumby
  2. 1 2 Autobiography: "Smile and Be a Villain" (1997) Town House, Dublin ISBN 1-57098-086-1
  3. "IFTA to Honour Irish Screen Legend Niall Tóibín". Irish Film and Television Network. 25 October 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  4. "IFTA honours acting great Tóibín". RTÉ. 4 November 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
  5. McGreevy, Ronan (4 November 2011). "Higgins salutes lifetime achievement of old friend and veteran actor Niall Tóibín". The Irish Times. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
  6. "Three's company as academy honours Toibin". Irish Independent. 4 November 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
  7. Kemp, Stuart (3 November 2011). "Niall Tóibín Receives An IFTA Lifetime Achievement Award From The Irish Film & Television Academy". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 3 November 2011.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 2/15/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.