Archives for April 2021

Lee Dunne – A Tribute

Lee Dunne, a great friend and colleague to so many, sadly passed away on Saturday, 10th April. One of Ireland’s most prolific authors as well as a playwright, director and actor, Lee has left an impressive volume of work as his legacy. 

Born in Ranelagh, Dublin in 1934, his early years were spent in poverty and deprivation and these were the catalyst for many of his works. Hard working and hard living, his novels were controversial and he had the “honour” of being the last writer to be banned in Ireland. 

It took 34 years, until 2006, before “Paddy Maguire is Dead” was made available in bookshops in the Republic of Ireland.

Like many before him, Lee had to relocate to England to find employment, turning his hand to many trades while writing, before earning enough to return home. 

He had more than fifteen film and TV credits and wrote over two thousand episodes of daily serials for RTE Radio. 

His early experience as a touring actor and keen ear for natural dialogue enabled him to adapt many of his works for stage and radio. He produced many himself, and “Goodbye to the Hill” provided much work for acting colleagues when it broke all records for the longest running stage play in Dublin and was often revived.

He will be greatly missed by everyone and his like will rarely be seen again. His latter years were clouded by the onset of dementia, bravely borne with the loving care of his wife, Maura. Vincent Smith, Lee’s long-time colleague and producer, was also a constant support.

Lee’s empathy, good humour, indomitable spirit and lifelong friendships were the keynote to a long, fruitful and hard-won career.