Newry Actor Gerard Murphy performing in last years Samuel Becket play Krapp's Last Tape at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow where he began his stage career. One of Newry's leading actors Gerard Murphy has died 

He had fought a long battle with Cancer, but passed away peacefully yesterday.

Well known for his Stage and television work he was an associate artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

He began his stage career with the Glasgow Citizens Theatre where he claimed he "went for three months and stayed for three years" returning last year for Samuel Becketts Krapps Last Tape.

He had previously starred in over 20 productions at the Citizens Theatre including The Changeling in 1976, Chinchilla in 1977, The Country Wife in 1977, Soldiers in 1993 and Macbeth in 1998.

Other career highlights included: Assassins at The Crucible Theatre, The History Boys, as well as acting roles in Dr Who, Spooks, Z Cars, Minder, Heartbeat, Father Ted and The Bill.

Gerard also appeared in blockbuster Films including Waterworld and Batman Begins.

Gerard was a frequent visitor to Newry and was generous with his time, and encouraging of talent.  He spent time with the performing arts students at SRC recently, and, although a little star-struck, they benefited enormously from his advice and encouragement.

Commenting on his death the Mayor of Newry and Mourne, Michael Ruane said: “I heard of the passing of Gerard Murphy with deep regret.  He was truly a giant in acting circles, in stature, talent and personality.  I extend my deep sympathy to his family and loved ones.  I hope to be able to provide details at a later stage of how the Council will pay tribute to Gerard; his passing sees the loss of one of Newry’s most famous sons, and it will be fitting to mark his contribution in an appropriate manner”

Gerard was also a cousin of the late Sean Hollywood, another of Newry's drama greats.

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