Sunday 15 September 2019

Nika McGuigan, daughter of former boxer Barry, dies aged 33

Actress Nika McGuigan. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Actress Nika McGuigan. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Nika McGuigan has died at the age of 33 following a short illness.

Nika, who is the daughter of former boxer Barry McGuigan, was battling cancer.

In a statement, her family said they were devastated by her death which came "after a brief but brave battle".

"It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of our beautiful daughter and sister, Danika "Nika" McGuigan," they wrote in the statement.

"After a brief but brave battle against cancer, Nika passed away peacefully in the early hours of Tuesday 23rd July, surrounded by her loving family.

"As a family we are devastated and ask for complete privacy during this difficult period to allow us to grieve for our Nika."

Nika was a successful actress who appeared in RTE series Can't Cope Won't Cope alongside Seana Kerslake. 

She also had roles in Cathal Brady's film Wildfire and had a role in The Secret Scripture, which was directed by Jim Sheridan and starred Rooney Mara.

She has three brothers, Shane, Jake and Blane.

Shane posted a tribute to his sister on Instagram.

"It breaks my heart to write this. My beautiful sister Danika lost her battle with cancer in the early hours of Tuesday morning, at the young age of 33," he wrote.

"She overcame it once with a 2 year fight when she was 11 to 13. Myself, my brothers & parents were privileged to have another 20 years since the first battle with our amazing Nika. 

"Unfortunately Nika couldn’t beat it again but she fought so bravely until the end. I have memories that I’ll cherish for a lifetime & you will live on forever in spirit.

"I’m so so proud of you! Love you forever my older ‘little’ sister."

Danika's peers from the film and TV industry have also been paying tribute.

Stefanie Preissner wrote on Twitter, "Shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the untimely passing of Nika McGuigan- the brilliant, lovely, Danielle in Can’t Cope Won’t Cope wouldn’t have been the same without her. Deepest condolences to her family and loved ones. Xxx"

The Lisa Richards talent agency also shared a statement, "Everyone at Lisa Richards is shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Nika McGuigan. She was a wonderfully gifted actress and our thoughts are with her family and friends."

Writer/director Niall McKay said he was "devastated" to hear the news, adding that she was "a great actress and a beautiful person".

Bow Street screen acting school also paid tribute to their former student.

"We are shocked and deeply saddened to hear of Nika McGuigan’s untimely passing. She was one of our 1st students at The Factory & her unique talent, energy and smile was a constant inspiration. We would like to extend our deepest sympathy to her family at this difficult time."

Casting director Louise Kiely said it was "heartbreaking news " and described Nika as a "lovely, talented lady".

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