It was with a light heart and an easy smile that the well-known actor, Niall Mac Eamharcaigh accepted a presentation from his friend and neighbour, Micheal Cholm MacGiolla Easbuig at a civic reception last week.
The event, held in honour of Niall, took place in the Dungloe Public Service Centre on Friday last.
The reception was organised by the Cathaoirleach of the Glenties Municipal District and Independent Councillor, Micheal Cholm MacGiolla Easbuig who is a close friend of the Ranafast actor.
The occasion was attended by a number of dignataries and many public representatives were also there.
Letter from the President
A letter from the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, which was written to mark the occasion, was read out by Donegal County Council (DCC) official, Michael McGarvey.
In the letter, the President said: “Mar Uachtarán na hÉireann, tréaslaim ó chroí a ghradam le Niall Mac Eamharcaigh ar an ócáid shuntasach seo dó fhéin agus de chlann nuair a iarrtar air glacfadh le haitheantas agus meas phobal a cheantair dhúchas, Rann na Feirste.”
The President said Niall Mac Eamharcaigh was a recognised producer and actor, across a national spectrum, on both stage and screen.
Niall began his career on the stage at around 14 years of age.
Harbouring a natural ability for acting, the experience of his youth would later steer him towards a serious career in acting.
Niall said people can expect to have a different experience on stage and television - that both are not the same.
Niall MacEamharcaigh began his television career in the 80's with the series 'Anois is Arís.'
He also took part in 'As Seo Amach' which was broadcast on Network 2 during the 90's.
Over the years, he worked as a producer and writer on CU Burn.
The series was a huge hit with communities throughout the country who enjoyed the antics of CU Burn in the funeral parlour.
The programme was enjoyed by both Irish and English speakers alike on TG4.
Many locals took part in the filming and have fond memories of the fun that they had during their time in front of the camera.
Aodh Óg Ó'Duibheannaigh who played the part of Charlie Burn said he had the utmost of respect for his friend and colleague, Niall MacEamharcaigh.
Mr. Ó'Duibheannaigh said Niall could almost write the script for him such was their knowlege of eachother at this stage.
Niall held pivotal roles in 'Lui na Gréine,' 'Gleann Ceo,' 'FFC' and many other programmes.
However, Niall would be best recognised for his part in Rós na Run where he plays John Daly.
Niall enjoys and loves his work with the Galway crew and has played the role of John Daly for over sixteen years.
On Friday last, Niall thanked his family, friends and all those who took part in and helped with the programmes that he worked on throughout the years.
He said he was very proud and grateful for the award that he received.
“This is a big occasion for me and I am grateful to Micheal Cholm MacGiolla Easbuig and all those who helped organise the event,” he said.
Speaking at the reception, Niall's daughter, Deirdre said the entire family were proud of their father's achievements and had fond memories of growing up with him.
She said her father would often have been working on dramas with the school in Ranafast and his family and local students in the school would have taken part in them.
“His plays were suitable for both young and old because there were certain innuendos within the play that we couldn't understand as children but that the adults would recognise and appreciate ,” she said.
Niall's home would attract many visits from hopeful neighbours who would hope of catching a glimpse of the hit-show CU Burn before it was broadcast on TG4.
Home was like a cinema
Deirdre recalled how their home was on many occasions like a cinema and that laughter used to spill from the door of the home and onto the street as neighbours enjoyed a sneaky preview of the series.
Cllr. MacGiolla Easbuig said the day was a very important one for Niall and his family.
He said Niall and his colleagues and former colleagues had been responsible for making people smile and laugh with their shows over the years and this was something that he felt should be recognised.
Refreshments were served after the event where those in attendance congratulated Niall on his achievement.
Niall has enjoyed a wonderful career of acting, directing and writing for TG4 and the stage at home.
Hopes are high that he will turn his hand to his pen again and put together another magnificent creation for all to enjoy.