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Who will play Haughey in €4m TV story?

THE HUNT is on to find an actor to play Charlie Haughey in a new TV drama about his life.

While the producers insist no casting decision has been made, early contenders are likely to include Ciaran Hinds, Sean McGinley and Colm Meaney.

The three-part RTE drama on the life of Haughey is to go into production next year.

Element Pictures, based in Dublin 4, has been awarded €1m from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland to make Citizen Charlie.

It will be an historical series, consisting of three 90-minute parts and will cost a total of €3.7m.

When contacted, the company said it had not put together a cast list yet.

The trilogy has been described as a drama "charting the emergence of modern Ireland through the mesmeric figure of Charles J Haughey and his pursuit of power, wealth and glamour".

Element will co-produce the series for RTE with London-based producers Touchpaper.

It is written by Colin Teevan, who also penned rural drama Single-Handed and detective series Vera.

RTE commissioning editor for drama Jane Gogan said:

"Charles J Haughey is a figure in Irish life on which everyone has a point of view, but this drama will be as much about Ireland as it is about one man."

Silence Of The Lambs star Anthony Hopkins was last year mooted as possibly taking the lead role in a separate film about the former taoiseach's life, based on Kevin O'Connor's book Sweetie: How Haughey Spent The Money.