Real-life 'Nidge' ends up behind bars... with 30 spellbound young offenders

Tom Vaughan-Lawlor in character as Nidge
Tom Vaughan-Lawlor in character as Nidge

HE is the notorious gangland figure that gardai cannot put in jail despite huge operations against him.

But yesterday Nidge from RTE's hit Love/Hate show finally ended up behind bars - but he was out again in less than two hours.

However he was there by appointment and was free to go when he decided.

Over 30 prisoners in St Patrick's Institution for young offenders were left spellbound as top actor Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (35) gave a lengthy talk in the jail's school about his career and the groundbreaking crime drama.

Mr Vaughan-Lawlor had been invited to talk to the young prisoners aged between 17 and 20 by the jail's school and the young men “lapped up” the talented actor's discussion with them.

A jail insider said: “Tom got a great reception - it was lovely for the lads as Love/Hate is so popular in that prison and all prisons in fact.

“It was great to have him here - and the hope is that none of the young fellas will end up like the character he plays.”

Series 4 Episode 4 - Sunday October 27th 
Gang make a run for it Laurence Kinlan as Elmo, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as Nidge and Mark Dunne as Ado
Gang make a run for it Laurence Kinlan as Elmo, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as Nidge and Mark Dunne as Ado

In total Mr Vaughan-Lawlor spent over 90 minutes talking to the well behaved young jail students.

The actor, who lives in the UK with wife Claire Cox and their toddler son, previously said his own family in Dublin weren't shocked any more by his portrayal of the gang boss in the TV show.

In his latest production, the IFTA-winner will play PJ Mara, Charlie Haughey's long-serving political adviser in a series do be screened on RTE next year.

Mr Vaughan-Lawlor began playing the role of Nigel “Nidge” Delaney in the critically acclaimed Love/Hate.

His portrayal of Nidge has been well received by critics and he has won the Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Television award at the 2012 IFTA Awards, and the Best Actor for Television award at the 2013 IFTA Awards.

Tom said that he relished the role of the colourful character Nidge.

“One of the joys of playing the part is he's a different man in all four series, he's always changing and he's incredibly difficult to pinpoint,” he said.

“People are drawn to him because of his humour, the moments he has with his children and the moments he has with his own conscious.”

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