The Irish actor Mick Lally, who has died aged 64, succeeded in straddling the worlds of stage, television and film. In particular, he was a vital presence in the renaissance of Irish drama in the 1970s and 80s, while making himself a household name in Radio Telefís Éireann's soap operas Bracken and Glenroe.
The eldest of seven children on a 30-acre hill farm in Tourmakeady, County Mayo, in the Gaelic-speaking west of Ireland, Lally, through the generosity of an emigrant uncle, attended St Mary's College in Galway and University College Galway, where he read Irish and history. In extra-curricular time, he acted in the Irish-language college drama society, and won the British and Irish intervarsity boxing championship. He would later comment that acting, even in ensemble, was not unlike being alone in the ring.
From 1969 Lally taught