Irish actress Rynagh O'Grady of Father Ted fame has passed away

Irish actress Rynagh O'Grady of Father Ted fame has passed away

TRIBUTES HAVE been paid to Irish actress Rynagh O'Grady who has sadly passed away.

Ms O'Grady is best known for her recurring role in Father Ted, where she played one half of the feuding couple John and Mary.

She was also highly respected in the theatre world, being a prominent figure in Dublin's Abbey Theatre where she was involved in productions such as Mamie Sighs and The Unmanageable Sisters.

The Abbey Theatre announced her passing in a tribute on social media, where they lamented the loss of the talented actress who made her stage debut in 1969.

A spokesperson for the Abbey Theatre wrote that they were "deeply saddened" to hear of Ms O'Grady's passing, describing her as "our beloved friend and colleague".

"We are thinking of her family and all who loved her."

They added, "She will be greatly missed.

"Rest in peace, dear Rynagh."

Director of the Abbey Theatre, Graham McLaren, paid tribute to Ms O'Grady in an emotional statement, writing:

"Her grace, her talent, her humour, her integrity, her patience.

"I'd sneak into the back ow of the Abbey to watch her hush a hysterical audience with a look, then lead them through a speech full of heart, humanity and justice.

"Irish theatre got a lot darker today."

A friend of Ms O'Grady, fellow actor Bairbre Ní Chaoimh, said she was "heartbroken" to hear of her "beautiful friend's sudden death".

"I just can't believe it," she wrote on Twitter. "She was such a talented woman and a loyal and much loved friend."

Deirdre Kinahan, who directed The Unmanageable Sisters in which Ms O'Grady starred, said it was a "privilege"  to write for her and watch her perform, adding "she will always be my Dolly Snow."