Niall Tóibín is an Irish comedian and actor. Born in Cork into an Irish speaking family, Tóibín grew up on the north-side of the city in Bishop’s Field. He has appeared in Ryan’s Daugh-ter, Bracken, The Irish R.M., Caught in a Free State, Ballykissangel, Far and Away, and Veronica Guerin, and has played Brendan Behan too. He was awarded honorary lifetime membership of the Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) in 2011.
Tóibín was born in 1929 in Cork, the sixth of seven children, born to Siobhán (née Ní Shúileabháin) & Seán Tóibín, native Irish speakers. His parents’ names were originally John Tobin and Hannah O’Sullivan when married in 1917. His siblings include Siobhán, Tomás, Diaglán, Filmin, Góbnait, and Colm Tóibín. In 1957, Tóibín married Frances Judith “Judy” Kenny (Died 26th June 2002; aged 70) in Dublin, and has five children, including Sean, Muireann, Aisling, Sighle and Fíona Toibin, and six grand-children.
He was educated at the North Monastery (North Mon) after which he left Cork for a job in the Civil Service in Dublin in January 1947.
Tóibín started acting in the 1950s and spent fourteen years with the Radio Éireann Players.
From Ryan’s Daughter and Bracken in the 1970s, to The Irish R.M. and Caught in a Free State in the 1980s, and, more recently, Far and Away, Ballykissangel and Veronica Guerin, Toibin’s entertainment career in television, film and theatre has spanned over four decades. He has also acted for the radio, such as his guest appearance in the BBC Radio 4 series Baldi.
Tóibín divides his time between New York and his home in Dublin. He married Judy Kenny in 1957, has five children and six grandchildren (grandchildren’s names are Niall (named after him), Ella, Jack, Billy, Francie and Barry) – (This part was written by his grandson).
In 2005, he “cemented” his hands outside the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin. He made a speech saying, “It will be a proud day for me. My appearances on the Gaiety stage are without doubt the highlights of my career and I am honoured to have been asked to give my prints,” said the former Ballykissangel star, who was joined by five of his six grandchildren to celebrate the event.
He played Dr. Paul O’Callaghan in the first series of Irish TV programme The Clinic.
He played Judge Ballaugh, alongside with Cate Blanchett, in Jerry Bruckheimer’s film, Veronica Guerin.
In 1973, Tóibín won a Jacob’s Award for his performance in the RTÉ comedy series, If The Cap Fits.
On 29 October 2002, Tóibín accepted a Best Actor Award in a Dublin ceremony.
Tóibín received an Honorary Doctor of Arts Degree from University College Cork (UCC) on 4 June 2010.
Tóibín was honoured with the Irish Film and Television Academy’s (IFTA) Lifetime Achievement Award at a ceremony at the Irish Film Institute on 3 November 2011. Gay Byrne, Stephen Rea and then President-elect of Ireland Michael D. Higgins were there too. The award meant Tóibín became an honorary IFTA lifetime member.