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Mulholland Declan

Declan Mulholland

Born December 1932 and brought up in the Falls Road area of Belfast, Mulholland encountered poverty in childhood. At one stage, the family could not afford fees for school but, since he was a bright child, his headmaster allowed him to stay on until the debt could be caught up with. At the age of 15, he went to work in Belfast's shipyards, where he became politicised.

In the early 1950s, he came to England as a delegate for a peace movement conference. Subsequently, he moved to London permanently and joined the Young Communist League. Having obtained work at Pinewood studios, building film sets, he then found his way to Unity Theatre, where he designed sets and soon found himself acting. He kept a close affinity to Unity; when the theatre burned down in 1975, he chaired the body that kept the spirit of Unity alive by staging occasional performances.

In the late 1970s, he drifted from the Communist Party into the anarchist movement. He was a close friend of Peter O'Toole and appeared for many years in the RSC in comedy roles and in numerous television performances and died on June 29th 1999

Source: Guardian 27th July 1999