On a father for whom actors were his true spiritual family... For Sunday Miscellany on RTÉ Radio 1, listen to Tomás, by Ferdia MacAnna above.
He was a big presence in my life but I always felt that I scarcely knew him. He passed a few years ago and I'm still not sure if I ever found out what it was like to have a dad.
He gave me no advice and rarely spoke to me in any meaningful way about anything much. But he introduced me to The Marx Brothers and Victor Borge and daft Dundalk humour ('Dundalk people love to hear your news, especially if it’s bad’) and he gave me Kurt Vonnegut and Ray Bradbury and James Bond and Just William books and introduced me to Dylan Thomas’ play, Under Milk Wood.
Once, he came home from the US where he had been directing plays or lecturing in colleges (activities he did most summers) and handed me an LP – The Allman Brothers Band Live at the Fillmore East. It became my favourite music of all time. When I asked him how he had chosen the album, he said he’d asked the clerk in the record store what was the best LP around...
Listen to more from Sunday Miscellany here.