Tributes paid to beloved actor and dancer Ray McBride

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Galway Daily arts Tributes paid to beloved actor and dancer Ray McBride
Ray McBride (third from left) with fellow cast members Paul Brennan, Jane Brennan, Pat Leavy, Seán McGinley, Marie Mullen and Maelíosa Stafford in Druid’s 1985 production of Conversations on a Homecoming by Tom Murphy.

Tributes have been paid to the late actor and dancer Ray McBride, well known for his many performances in film, and on stage with Macnas, the Druid, and more.

McBride was well known for his work in Druid ensemble pieces in the 80s, and for roles in films such as Angela’s Ashes and Into the West. He passed away following a long illness.

In a quintessential tale of the proud Irish mammy, Garry Hynes, Artistic Director of the Druid, said that they were first introduced to Ray by his mother Kathleen, who had told them about her son and his talent.

He was invited to audition for the Druid after returning from the United States, and was quickly cast by the world renowned theatre company.

His dozens of acting credits with Druid included The Wood of the Whispering (1983), Conversations on a Homecoming (1985), and Waiting for Godot (1987).

“Ray was an exceptional talent and one of the nicest and most generous of men. I’ll miss him so much,” Garry Hynes said.

President of Ireland Michael D Higgins said “While being one of Galway’s most beloved citizens, Ray is above all associated with the creative heart of Galway.”

“While he performed with Macnas, the Druid Theatre and in many films, what made Ray unique and exceptional as an artist was perhaps his ability as a gifted Irish dancer.”

“Ray McBride will also be remembered by those who knew him best for the dignity and courage with which he faced his long illness.”

“For those many who had the gift of his friendship, they will remember the wit and humour with which he bestowed it.”

“Sabina and I offer our deepest condolences to his family, his many friends, colleagues and all those who knew and appreciated Ray and his work.”

Galway City Council paid tribute to McBride for embodying the “vibrant, playful, cultural heart” of the city he came from.