Downton Abbey's Brendan Coyle to join cast of Easter 1916 film The Rising

Downton Abbey's Brendan Coyle to join cast of Easter 1916 film The Rising

IRISH actor Brendan Coyle, best know for his role as Mr Bates in Downton Abbey is set to appear in next year's The Rising.

The actor will play Augustine Birrell in the film, the first movie focusing solely on the Irish insurrection of 1916, which is set to be released next year, in time for its centenary.

Coyle attended theatre school in Dublin before winning a scholarship to Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in North London. He was nominated for an Emmy award for his portrayal of valet Mr Bates in the first series of hugely popular period drama Downton Abbey.

His character in The Rising, Augustine Birrell, was the prominent but troubled politician and the Chief secretary for Ireland at the time of the 1916 Easter Rising.

The film, directed by Kevin McCann, covers the six days when Irish Republican Brotherhood members clashed with British occupying forces in Dublin. Although unsuccessful it served to highlight the issue of Irish independence.

Funded in part by the Irish film board, and Northern Ireland Screen, the film's release next year marks the 100 year anniversary of the uprising.

The part of revolutionary Michael Collins will be played by Liam Neeson's son Michael. The role was first played by Liam Neeson himself in the 1996 movie Michael Collins.

Humans actor Colin Morgan will take the leading role of Sean McDermott and David O'Hara will play revolutionary James Connelly. Shane MacGowan of The Pogues is to write the theme song for the film.