Ballykissangel stars now – co-star split, tragic deaths and Hollywood icon
BBC Drama Ballykissangel was one of the popular television dramas of the nineties, attracting an average of 10 million viewers at its peak.
The programme was set in Ireland, in the fictional village of Ballykissangel, and starred Stephen Tompkinson as a priest who moves to the rural village.
Ballykissangel ran for six series from 1996-2001 and in 2021, celebrates its 25th anniversary.
We look back on the programme and where the cast are now – from Hollywood blockbuster films, to crime dramas, Dracula television series and tragic deaths.
Stephen Tompkinson starred as Father Peter Clifford, a priest who moves from Manchester to the village of Ballykissangel.
He appeared in the first three series of the BBC drama from 1996-1998, before leaving after the tragic death of villager Asumpta Fitzegerald, played by Dervla Kirwan.
Most recently, Tompkinson played Stephen Marshbrook in 2021's The Bay, George Torvill in the tv movie Torvill and Dean and Brian in the comedy series Trollied, from 2014-2018.
He also played DCI Banks in the popular crime series of the same name, from 2010-2016.
After his split from his wife Celia Anastasia, he started a relationship with co-star Dervla Kirwin, with the pair eventually getting engaged.
However, it ended in heartbreak and Stephen has been with partner Elaine Young since 2007.
Dervla Kirwan played pub owner Assumpta Fitzgerald in the first three series of Ballykissangel.
Kirwan left the show after her character sadly died at the end of the third series.
Prior to Ballykissangel, fans would have recognised Kirwan from the BBC comedy Goodnight Sweetheart, alongside Only Fools and Horses' Nicholas Lyndhurst.
Since then, Kirwan has starred in programmes including Doctor Who Christmas Special The Next Doctor in 2008, BBC TV mini series The Silence in 2010 and Silent Witness as Amanda Long in 2019.
She most recently starred in hit Netflix series Harlan Coben's The Stranger in 2020, as Corrine Price.
Before A-lister Colin Farrell was the star of Hollywood films, he starred in Ballykissangel.
Farrell was 22 years old when he played Danny Byrne in the series from 1998-1999, before being offered his first Hollywood movie role in Joel Schumacher's Tiger Land in 2000.
The small role catapulted him into stardom, with the actor famously saying: "Ballykissangel was one of the f*****g greatest things that ever happened to me."
Since then, Farrell has starred in huge Hollywood films including Minority Report, Phonebooth, In Bruges, Fright Night, HBO Series True Detective and Fantastic beasts and where to find them.
He most recently starred in 2021 BBC Drama, The North Water, alongside Stephen Graham.
Tony Doyle & Niall Tobin
Tony Doyle was wealthy businessman Brian Quigley and father to Niamh in Ballykissangel from 1996-1999.
Prior to Ballykissangel, he had already had a long acting career on screen since 1963, starring in programmes including Taggart, Rumpole of the Bailey, Vanity Fair and Peak Practice.
He sadly died suddenly in hospital in London at age 58, on January 28 2000.
Niall Tobin starred as Father MacNally in Ballykissangel from 1996-2001.
MacNally, like Doyle, also had a long acting career dating back to the sixties, and starred in programmes such as Minder and Stay Lucky (both alongside Dennis Waterman) and the 1992 film Far and Away opposite Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.
Tobin sadly died after a long illness, aged 89 on November 13, 2019.
Tina Kellegher played Niamh, the daughter of wealthy businessman Brian Quigley and wife of village police man Ambrose Egan, from 1996-2001.
Since Ballykissangel, Kellegher has starred in television programmes and tv films including Jimmy McGovern's Accused in 2012 and played Teresa Burke in crime drama Single-handed in 2010.
She most recently starred in Irish soap opera Fair City in 2021.
Peter Hanly played Ambrose Egan, a village policeman and boyfriend (later husband) to Niamh Quigley.
He starred in the series from 1996-1999, until his character dies in an accident in series five.
Prior to Ballykissangel, Hanly had starred as Prince Edward in the film Braveheart, and later went on to star in the television series Primeval in 2011.
He most recently starred in a short film called Folly & Diction in 2020.
Orla O' Connell joined Ballykissangel in 1998 as Orla O'Connell, and starred in two series of the programme until 1999.
Since Ballykissangel, O'Connell has played roles such as Lady Jane Weatherby in 2013's Dracula television series opposite Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Maya Whitman in Marcella and Cruella De Vil in Once upon a Time from 2014-2018.
She also starred in films The Beach in 2000 and About a boy in 2002.
She most recently starred in the film Deadly Cuts in 2021.
Deirdre Donnelly played Siobhan, the village vet, in all six series of Ballykissangel from 1996-2001.
In the series, Siobhan was married to Gary Wheelan's character Brendan.
Since Ballykissangel, she has starred in programmes including Brassic as Mo Dennings from 2019-2020 and The Frankenstein Chronicles as Mrs.Townsend in 2015.
Donnelly has also appeared on stage in productions such as The Importance of Being Earnest, Little Women and Pride and Prejudice at the Gate Theatre.
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