Dermot Doolan – RIP

It is with great sadness we have received the news of the death of Dermot Doolan. Dermot was a former Secretary of Irish Actors’ Equity Association and was the first Secretary of the ITGWU Cultural Division. Our sincere condolences to the Doolan family at this very sad time. The funeral arrangements are as follows:

Reposing at the Kirwan Funeral Home, Ballygall Road West on
Monday 26th August between 5.30p.m. and 8p.m. Removal on Tuesday 27th to St. Canice’s Church, Finglas Village, arriving for 10.00 am Requiem Mass followed by funeral to Glasnevin Crematorium. Family flowers only, please. Donations, if desired, to the Society of St. Vincent De Paul.

Irish Equity meet Arts Council

Irish Equity Executive delegation met with the Arts Council on Friday 26th July re maximising affordable performance and rehearsal spaces. Photo from left to right: Irish Equity Executive members Pádraig Murray (President), Ann Russell and Gerry Lee.

Extension of protection scheme for performing artists welcomed

Following a review of the pilot social protection scheme for writers and visual artists, the Government has announced its extension to professional performing artists. The extension of the scheme will now see the inclusion of actors, musicians, street performers, dancers and other artists whose professional status will be designated by the fact that a minimum of 50%
of their income is generated through their professional work. For the first time these earnings can also include teaching within their profession.

Irish Equity supports this initiative as a positive step forward on the path to recognition of the professional status and value of performing artists in Ireland. However, a broader discussion about the working lives of artists and their capacity to have longevity and dignity in their careers is now needed. The way to truly value artists is to ensure they can make a secure living from their work and that means the development of a basic income scheme for these professionals.

Photo from left to right: Stephen Spence, Equity UK with Padraig Murray and Karan OLoughlin, Irish Equity and Louis Rolston, Equity UK (right), outside Liberty Hall for the recent Equity Ireland/ Equity UK Action Group meeting.

Equity members mourn Karl Shiels

Irish Equity members are saddened to hear of the untimely passing of actor, Karl Shiels.

Born in Dublin, Karl was well known in theatre and TV circles having made many appearances at the Abbey, the Gate and many other venues.

As a founding member and Artistic Director of Theatre Upstairs, Karl was keenly aware of the need to create an independent theatre where self-producing artists could realise their full, creative ambition. As a freelance actor and director, he has worked extensively on stage and screen both nationally and internationally for almost two decades. He was given a Best Actor Award at the Dublin Theatre Festival for his role in Comedians in 1999 and received a nomination for a Best Actor Award at the Irish Times Theatre Awards in 2011 and in the 2010 Stage Awards.

Karl has stared in many TV productions over the years, including the Tudors, Peaky Blinders and he has, of course, been a regular feature in Carrickstown in RTE’s Fair City.

Karl is survived by his partner Laura Honan, his twin daughters and their mother Dearbhla, his father Harry, stepmother Irene, brother Jason, sisters Lisa and Lianne, stepbrother Justin, aunt Nan, uncles John and Jimmy, nephews and nieces. Karl will be sadly missed by all his relatives and a very large circle of friends, within the acting community and beyond.

A Tribute to Tom Jordan – Actor and Director

Another great loss to Irish Theatre and to Equity, is the passing of the talented, veteran actor, Tom Jordan. Born in Marino, Dublin in 1937, Tom first made his mark in 1968, as a member of the RTE Players, honing his skills in hundreds of broadcasts.

On leaving RTÉ in 1972 he became a founding member of the Project Arts Centre in Kings Street and, appeared on RTE Television in Ulick O’Connor’s The Rock. That same year he became Actor- Manager for Godfrey Quigley’s World Theatre Productions, initiating the very innovative “Dinner Theatre” performances in the Gresham Hotel, and in Wexford, for many seasons.

During this time Tom was now making his mark in Film and Television and, of the thirty or more productions, in which he appeared, he achieved fame as Farrell in Strumpet City. In 1981 he played Seamus Doherty with Pierce Brosnan in, The Manions of America, teaming up with him again in 1984 in Remmington Steele. Five years later, he was one of the original cast members of Fair City, starring as Charlie Kelly in almost 150 Episodes.

Tom’s heart, however, had always been in theatre, having performed in Dublin Theatre Festival Seasons and, in popular productions of, Is the Priest at Home? Da, and The Whip Hand. In 1987 he became Director of the Lyric Theatre, Belfast for two years.

Despite the high profile that Tom attained through talent, and diligence, he was always a very private person, meticulous in his preparation and always dependable, but his performances had a quiet power and a great stage and screen ‘presence’.

I had the honour of appearing with him in The Manions of America and on Radio. He was a generous actor, great company, a team player and a fine mentor of young talent. A strong supporter of Irish Equity, Tom was one of the few remaining actors to have successfully plied his trade in every avenue of his beloved profession, now sadly bereft of such talent and experience.

Laurence Foster June 30th 2019.

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Pádraig Murray – President

Pádraig is a professional actor and he has worked in both Ireland and the UK. He has been a member of Equity since the early 80’s. Padraig is President of Irish Equity for the last 8 years. Before that he was Vice-President for 2 years. He is also President of SIPTU’s Arts and Culture Sector. In that time he has been involved in many negotiations on terms and conditions and rates of pay for performers in the Irish Republic. He is currently represented by and a founding member of ReActors Agency.

Gerry O’Brien – Vice-President

Ann Russell (Trustee)

Ann Russell trained with the late Deirdre O’Connell at the Focus Stanislavski Studio and at the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York. She has an MA in Modern Drama from UCD and is a member of ReActors Agency co-operative.

Melissa Nolan

Melissa Nolan holds an MA in Performance Drama & H.Dip in Theatre from University College Dublin and H.Dip in Speech and Drama from Leinster School of Music & Drama. She is Co-founder of Mouth on Fire Theatre Company, who specialise in the work Samuel Beckett. To date she has performed ten Beckett plays, three of which were World Premieres (Irish language) In Ireland, UK, Russia, India and Japan. Melissa was awarded Best Design/Best Imaginative/Inspirational Production at the Cherepovets Literary Festival, Russia. Melissa has produced over 30 productions for Mouth on Fire and as a free lance Theatre Producer.