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Riordans actress Ann dies aged 85

The actress who played the beloved role of Julia Mac in RTE soap The Riordans has passed away at the age of 85.

Ann Rowan was last night remembered as "a lifelong friend, a great party-goer and a tremendous poker player".

Ms Rowan died on Sunday at Gormanston Wood Nursing Home in Co Meath following a brief illness.

"It's very sad news," her friend and former co-star Biddy White Lennon said.

"Ann was the life and soul of every party and the most fantastic company.

"Once you were friends with Ann, you had a friend for life. She was exceptionally loyal, the greatest treasure and a wonderfully talented actress who was as sharp as a tack.

"She was also a brilliant poker and scrabble player," Lennon White added.

Rowan appeared in several televised dramas on RTE, including an adaptation of Ulysses and Noel Coward's Fallen Angels, featuring Siobhan McKenna.


The gregarious actress also played the part of Leo Dowling's mother Mai in Fair City and starred alongside comedienne Maureen Potter in RTE's first home-grown sitcom Me and My Friend.

Rowan treaded the boards at The Abbey Theatre back in 1969 when she took to the stage in George Fitzmaurice's The Dandy Dolls as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival. More recently, she appeared in the Channel 4 comedy series Father Ted in the role of Mrs Glynn.

"She had fantastic comic timing," White Lennon said. "But she could also handle more serious and sombre roles. She was a very generous actress and a joy to share the screen with.

"She will be greatly missed and I'm sure everyone who knew and loved her will share plenty of stories about acting and her antics in the coming days."

A spokesperson for RTE said the station was "saddened" to hear of Rowan's passing given the contribution she had made to the broadcaster over the years.