Gabriel Byrne is to star in Quirke, a new Dublin-set BBC One noir series based on the Benjamin Black books of John Banville.

Quirke is the chief pathologist in the Dublin City Morgue and is described as "a charismatic loner whose job takes him into unexpected places as he uncovers the secrets of sudden death in 1950s Dublin".

The press release announcing Byrne's casting says: "It's a rich and smouldering world along whose smoky streets and damp alleys Quirke goes from bars that glimmer with peat fires and whiskey to elegant Dublin houses brimming with sexual tension. It’s a time full of mystery, secrets and intrigue."

The three feature-length episodes are a co-production between BBC Drama Production and Dublin-based Element Pictures and Tyrone Productions and are based on the Benjamin Black books Christine Falls, The Silver Swan and Elegy for April.

Andrew Davies (House of Cards, Bleak House) has adapted Christine Falls and The Silver Swan, with Conor McPherson adapting Elegy for April.

Filming will begin in Dublin later this year.

Commenting, Banville said: "I am very excited by the prospect of seeing my character Quirke incarnated by Gabriel Byrne, a perfect choice for the part. I know both Quirke and Benjamin Black will be wonderfully served by Andrew Davies and Conor McPherson, two masters of their craft."

John McColgan, Founding Director, Tyrone Productions said: "As a friend and colleague of Gabriel Byrne over the years I am thrilled to see him bringing the brilliant mercurial character of Quirke as created by John Banville to screens worldwide. BBC Drama has brought an incredible pool of writing talent to this project and I’m looking forward to seeing their scripts going into production."

Ed Guiney, Executive Producer, Element Pictures added: "Noir Dublin in the 50s seen through John Banville's eyes is such an appealing prospect. And who better to go on the journey with than Gabriel Byrne. We could not be more excited about being part of bringing this to the screen with the BBC and Tyrone."