Joe Lynch


Joe Lynch was born in Cork in 1925.   he was an actor and also a fine singer.   He made several popular recordings including “The Whistling Gypsy” by Leo Maguire and “The Banks of my own lovely Lee”.   He was very popular on Rsdio Eireann in the 1950’s with his show “Living with Lynch”.   In 1968 he starred in the British sit com “Never Mind the Quality, Feel thw Width”.   He did a stint on”Corination Street” as a taxi boyfriend of Elsie Tanner.   He then had a very long stretch as Dinny Byrne on RTE’s “Bracken” and then “Glenroe”.      Joe Lynch died in Spain in 2001.

“Guardian” obituary:

The actor, singer and raconteur Joe Lynch, who has died aged 75, became famous in his native Ireland playing the wily farmer and greyhound breeder Dinny Byrne in the RTE soap opera Glenroe from 1983 to 2000. It was a role he had pioneered in another RTE series, Bracken, from 1978.

But in Britain, he was best known as as one half of an Irish-Jewish tailoring twosome in the late 60s ITV comedy series Never Mind the Quality… Feel The Width. And uniquely, he played two characters – a county councillor and Elsie Tanner’s boyfriend – in Coronation Street. His more than a dozen films included the part of Blazes Boylan in Joseph Strick’s 1967 movie of James Joyce’s Ulysses.

The son of an engine driver and a bookbinder, he was born in Mallow, Co Cork, and educated at North Monastery Christian Brothers School in Cork City before graduating in music from Blackrock College, Dublin. He joined the Loft, a house in Cork city which specialised in rendering Shakespeare’s plays to devoted audiences, and his acting career began with the touring theatre of rural Ireland, whose menu was “an hour drama and an hour variety”. It was a forcing-house of talent which drew on the rich Elizabethan inheritance of Munster, whose sources were in Spenser and the Bible and latterly in such luminaries of local literature as Daniel Corkery and Frank O’Connor, and straight acting had to be accompanied with an ability to turn a tune.

Lynch made classics of such ballads as My Own Lovely Lee, The Stone Outside Dan Murphy’s Door, and The Wandering Gypsy, a song which seemed to reflect his own rich, diverse and adventurous per sonality. He developed a keen ability to hold an audience, often in trying conditions. His singing voice won him a following among Irish radio listeners. His ear for dialect landed him a radio series, Living with Lynch – and he became a comedian and satirist.

It was in the late 1960s that he moved to England. A failed film venture was to cost him dear – he spent three years stomping the boards in working-men’s clubs in the north of England to pay back his creditors – and he returned to Ireland in the early 1980s.

Lynch retired to Spain three years ago. He is survived by his wife, a daughter and his son. The death of another daughter earlier this year badly shook him.

•Joseph Lynch, actor, born July 16 1926; died August 1 2001

His obituary in “The Guardian” can be accessed here.

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