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Joseph Tomelty

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Joseph Tomelty
Joseph Tomelty.jpg
Born(1911-03-05)5 March 1911
Died7 June 1995(1995-06-07) (aged 84)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
OccupationActor, playwright
Years active1947–1964
Lena Milligan
(m. 1942)
Children2, including Frances Tomelty
FamilyJoe Sumner

Joseph Tomelty (5 March 1911 – 7 June 1995)[1] was an Irish actor, playwright, novelist, short-story writer and theatre manager. He worked in film, television, radio and on the stage.[2] starring in Sam Thompson's 1960 play Over the Bridge.

Life and career

Born in Portaferry (Ireland at the time, now Northern Ireland) in 1911, he was the son of James Tomelty; a skilled fiddler who was nicknamed "Rollicking".[1] Tomelty's exposure to music at a young age influenced his work as a playwright with several of his stage works were named after songs, including The Singing Bird (1948), Down the Heather Glen (1953) and The Drunken Sailor (1954).[1] His brother, Peter Tomelty, was a tenor and recording artist. He married Lena Milligan in 1942.[3] They had two daughters together; Frances Tomelty is an actress and the first wife of singer and musician Sting, while Roma Tomelty was also an actress.[2]



  • Barnum Was Right (1939)
  • Idolatry at Inishargie (1942)
  • Poor Errand (1943)
  • Right Again Barnum (1943)
  • The End House (1944)
  • All Souls' Night (1948)
  • The Singing Bird (1948)
  • Down the Heather Glen (1953)
  • April in Assagh (1954)
  • The Drunken Sailor (1954)
  • Is the Priest at Home? (1954)
  • A Year in Marlfield (1965)


  • Red Is the Port Light (1948)
  • The Apprentice (1953)


  • Barnum Is Right (1938)
  • Elopement (1939)
  • The McCooeys (1948)

Complete filmography

The McCooeys

Tumelty's family-based radio sitcom The McCooeys was first broadcast on the BBC Home Service in Northern Ireland on 14 May 1949, becoming the region's most listened-to programme over the next six years. Centre Stage Theatre Company, co-founded by his daughter Roma and her husband Colin Carnegie, revived four of the episodes in a stage version, directed by Michael Quinn and performed in the refurbished Grand Opera House Studio Theatre in February 2022.


  1. ^ a b c Damian Smyth (12 June 1995). "OBITUARY:Joseph Tomelty". The Independent. Archived from the original on 17 June 2022.
  2. ^ a b Smyth, Damian (November 2008). "Tomelty Country". Celebrating Strangford Lough. p. 1.
  3. ^ melty-1586249.html

External links

This page was last edited on 31 July 2022, at 13:09
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