Father Ted star Rynagh O’Grady who played shop owner Mary has died at 67.
The Dublin actress, best known as the unforgettable Mary O’Leary co-owner of the Craggy Island shop, died suddenly, it was announced on Tuesday.
She trained in the Abbey School of Acting and throughout her career which spanned over 50 years, appeared in numerous productions at the famed Dublin theatre.
Rynagh was greatly respected across the Irish theatre scene and was also known for her directorial and writing skills.
She was best known for her role as Mary, whose hilarious rows with husband John were swept under the carpet whenever Father Ted appeared.
In a statement, obtained by Dublin Live, the Abbey Theatre said: “We were deeply saddened to hear of the sudden passing of our beloved friend and colleague Rynagh O’Grady. We are thinking of her family and all who loved her.
“Rynagh trained in the Abbey School of Acting and first appeared on our stages in 1969. Notable productions included Donal O’Kelly’s Mamie Sighs in 1990 and more recently in Deirdre Kinahan’s The Unmanageable Sisters.
“Director of the Abbey Theatre, Graham McLaren took a moment to remember his great friend, who he had the privilege of directing in 2018 and 2019, saying the following…
“Rynagh O Grady, Her grace, Her talent, Her humour, Her integrity, Her patience
“I’d sneak into the back row of the Abbey to watch her hush a hysterical audience with a look, then lead them through a speech full of heart, humanity & justice
“Irish theatre got a lot darker today.”
“We were honoured to have Rynagh reading for the Abbey stage as part of Dear Ireland in August 2020. She will be greatly missed. Rest in peace, dear Rynagh.”
While her fellow Abbey Theatre actor Bill Murphy called her a “trojan woman”.
He said: “So sorry to hear of the passing of our trojan woman and friend actor Rynagh O Grady. We served together on equity and more recently worked together,with the Abbey Theatre on Dear Ireland Continues and Abbey Calling. Thunderous ovations to you Rynagh. You made your mark.”