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Statement by President Higgins on the death of Maelíosa Stafford

Date: Thu 13th Apr, 2023 | 17:41

“News of the death of Maelíosa Stafford will be met with a deep sense of loss and sadness across the community of theatre in Ireland and abroad.

Maelíosa was an integral part of those exciting days that included the founding of the Druid Theatre in Galway, his talents as an actor were pivotal in Druid’s deserved success.  His performances in so many of the late Tom Murphy’s plays were regarded as exceptional, bringing the power of artistic collaboration to its highest levels, bringing to life, as he did, the vivid characterisations from such brilliant writing.

Maelíosa’s talent extended beyond that of actor. He went on to direct some of Druid’s most iconic works and, becoming its its Artistic Director in the early 1990s, oversaw a period of such creativity for the Arts in Ireland.

Maelíosa’s late parents, Seán and Márie, both had a hugely positive influence on cultural life and on the Arts in Ireland through their work at Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe and, as a Nation, we are indebted to them.

Sabina and I send our deepest sympathies to Maelíosa’s wife Carolyn; his children Eoghan, Cian, Aelia and Benen, and grandchild Banjo; his sisters Órfhlaigh and Fionnuala; and to his brothers Conall and Ruairí and many friends. 

May I also express my condolences to his colleagues in O’Punksky’s Theatre in Sydney and to all those in Druid Theatre who worked with him over the years and to all who will miss him dearly.”