Pegg Monahan – A Tribute

It is with great sadness that I have received the news of the death of actress, friend and colleague, Pegg Monahan, at the great age of 97. Pegg was the last of the founding members of the RTE Players, Radio Repertory Company. She was also a founding member of “WAAMA” the Writers-Actors-Artists & Musicians Association of Ireland and, was instrumental in it becoming Irish Actor’s Equity.

A fine stage actress, Pegg performed in the original production of Knocknagow and then joined Lord Longford’s Company in the Gate Theatre. In 1947 she began her illustrious radio career which spanned four decades, during which time she performed in more than 1,000 radio plays and classic dramatisations. She also starred in several television plays including “The Weaver’s Grave” and “Somerville & Ross”. Pegg Monahan became a household name in the 1950s and 60s with her portrayal of the long suffering Mrs Foley in David Hayes’ long running comedy series, The Foley Family. In 1982, Pegg crowned her broadcasting career with a brilliant portrayal of Mollie Bloom in the record breaking 32 hour, unabridged, RTE Radio broadcast of UIlysses. Those of us privileged enough to have worked with Pegg will miss her greatly.

She had a regal charm and an inner calm that put everyone at ease. She helped and guided young actors and was generous and sympathetic. Her versatility knew no bounds and, from Dublin housewives and country matriarchs to a chilling Mrs Danvers in Rebecca, her range was so impressive.

Ireland has lost a great actress and a true radio artist. Joyously, we will hear her like again, as that artistry has been preserved in Archive. “Her familiar voice, wearies not ever!” Shelley.

Laurence Foster. May 25th 2019.