Opinion

Saturday 23 September 2017

Fantastic character, great actor and heartfelt friend of Ireland

The legendary Bafta-award winning actor immediately 'got' Ireland - and made it his home for many years

HE HAD THE MOST EXPRESSIVE EYES: The late John Hurt, from left, as Timothy Evans in ‘10 Rillington Place’, as Max in ‘Midnight Express’, as Quentin Crisp in ‘The Naked Civil Servant’, as Bird O’Donnell in ‘The Field’, as Kane in ‘Alien’, as John Merrick in ‘The Elephant Man’, as Mr Olivander in ‘Harry Potter’, as the War Doctor in ‘Doctor Who’, and in his most recent role — currently in cinemas everywhere — as the priest in ‘Jackie’
HE HAD THE MOST EXPRESSIVE EYES: The late John Hurt, from left, as Timothy Evans in ‘10 Rillington Place’, as Max in ‘Midnight Express’, as Quentin Crisp in ‘The Naked Civil Servant’, as Bird O’Donnell in ‘The Field’, as Kane in ‘Alien’, as John Merrick in ‘The Elephant Man’, as Mr Olivander in ‘Harry Potter’, as the War Doctor in ‘Doctor Who’, and in his most recent role — currently in cinemas everywhere — as the priest in ‘Jackie’
Eamon Delaney

Eamon Delaney

John Hurt was a great actor, a memorable character - and a wonderful friend of Ireland. Like many bawdy, but sensitive English souls, he 'got' Ireland and at one stage, in the Who Do You Think You Are? genealogy TV series, he even seemed to have found his Irish roots, somewhat to the surprise of his many friends!

He was also a great friend of my late father, the sculptor Edward Delaney RHA, and was the last visitor my Dad received at his nursing home in Connemara before he passed away in 2009. Their friendship went way back to the late 1960s when Hurt came to Ireland to film the caper comedy, Sinful Davey, thus beginning a long and deep relationship with Ireland and its culture.

They had a mutual friend in the gaelicised aristocrat and Claddagh Records founder, Garech Browne, and his circle, with many visits to, and parties in Luggala, Browne's stunning valley retreat in Wicklow - only last week put on the market for €4.7m.

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