Lives Remembered

Peadar Lamb: Celebrated actor on stage and screen over six decades

Peadar Lamb as Fargo Boyle in the Fr Ted episode Chirpy Burpy Cheap Sleep in 1988

ALTHOUGH he was already a celebrated actor of more than 30 years' experience, a memorable appearance in TV comedy Father Ted in 1998 introduced Peadar Lamb him to a whole new audience.

In an episode entitled Chirpy Burpy Cheap Sleep, Lamb appropriately played a sheep farmer named Fargo Boyle whose problems with perennial prize-winner Chris brought him to Ted's door.

The mystery of the fearsome 'Beast of Craggy Island' - "it has four ears, claws as big as cups and eyebrows only on Saturday" - was eventually resolved and Boyle revealed as the villain, though not without the priests gambling away their entire winter heating budget.

Lamb was always equally at home with comedy and tragedy during a career which spanned more than 60 years at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and numerous roles in television and cinema.

A son of the Portadown-born artist Charles Lamb, who was inspired by the landscapes of the west of Ireland, he grew up in Carraroe in the Connemara Gaeltacht and used his native tongue in many Irish language productions.

He qualified as a primary school teacher before taking up acting full-time, joining the Abbey in 1954 and appearing in hundreds of stage productions down the years, his favourites including Synge's The Playboy of the Western World and Brian Friel's Philadelphia Here I Come.

On television he had roles in Fair City and Ros na Rún, while his film credits included Far and Away with Tom Cruise and The Field with Richard Harris.

Lamb was married for 52 years to fellow thespian Geraldine Plunkett, best known for her part as Mary Moran in Glenroe, having met while playing a brother and sister at the Abbey in 1961.

In 2002 they played leading roles again together in a production of Tony Guerin's play Hummin'.

Peadar Lamb died aged 87 at his home in Glenageary, Co Dublin on September 1. He is survived by his wife, six children and eight grand-children.

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Lives Remembered