Father Ted star Rynagh O’Grady dies suddenly as tributes pour in

Father Ted favourite Rynagh O'Grady, who played shop owner Mary O'Leary, has died at 67.

The actress, best known as the unforgettable Craggy Island shop keeper, died suddenly, it was announced on Tuesday.

She was best known for her role as Mary n the hit Channel 4 show, whose hilarious rows with husband John were loved by viewers for years.

In a statement, obtained by Dublin Live, the Abbey Theatre said: "We were deeply saddened to hear of the sudden passing of our beloved friend and colleague Rynagh O’Grady.

"We are thinking of her family and all who loved her.

"Rynagh trained in the Abbey School of Acting and first appeared on our stages in 1969. Notable productions included Donal O’Kelly’s Mamie Sighs in 1990 and more recently in Deirdre Kinahan’s The Unmanageable Sisters .

"Director of the Abbey Theatre, Graham McLaren took a moment to remember his great friend, who he had the privilege of directing in 2018 and 2019, saying the following…

“Rynagh O Grady, Her grace, Her talent, Her humour, Her integrity, Her patience

"I'd sneak into the back row of the Abbey to watch her hush a hysterical audience with a look, then lead them through a speech full of heart, humanity & justice

"Irish theatre got a lot darker today.”

The cause of her death has not yet been made public.

Tributes have flooded in on social media for the star.

One fan wrote on twitter: "Such sad sad news. RIP Rynagh O'Grady."

Another tweeted: "Incredibly sad day for the arts in Ireland. What a talent. RIP Rynagh O'Grady."

A third wrote: "So sad to hear of the passing of Rynagh O'Grady. What a great person."

Rynagh was greatly respected across the Irish theatre scene and was also known for her directorial and writing skills.

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