Northern Ireland news

Belfast-born 'acting great' Margaret D'Arcy passes away

Margaret D'Arcy was awarded an MBE in 1996

BELFAST-born Margaret D'Arcy, who has passed away aged 100, will be remembered as an actress who excelled on the theatre stage.

Ms D'Arcy enjoyed a long and distinguished stage career and was a key member of Group Players in her native city throughout the 1940s and 1950s.

She appeared in many of the Group's stage classics, including Joseph Tomelty's `Is the Priest at Home?' and Louis MacNeice's `Traitors in Our Way'.

Joining the Lyric Players in 1976, she starred alongside a young Liam Neeson in Brian Friel's `The Loves of Cass Maguire'.

Her cinema career included roles in `Armchair Thriller' (1978), `Wild About Harry' (2000) and the 2002 film adaptation of Spike Milligan's `Puckoon'.

She also appeared in numerous BBC Northern Ireland productions and in the 1990s was reunited with her Group contemporary James Ellis, in Graham Reid's Belfast-set televised drama `The Precious Blood'.

Ms D'Arcy was awarded an MBE in 1996.

Last night, The Irish News's theatre critic Anne Hailes described the deceased as an "acting great", who was most at home on the theatre stage.

"Back in my days with Ulster Television, Margaret was revered as an actress and also highly thought of as a person," she said.

"She excelled as an stage actress and was most at home in front of a live audience – they loved her and she loved them."

Ms D'Arcy died on Tuesday at at Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry.

Her funeral takes place today from O'Brien's funeral home in Limavady funeral home at 11.20 am for 12 noon Requiem Mass in St Finlough's Church, Ballykelly followed by interment in adjoining cemetery.

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