The Gaiety School of Acting: The Alma Mater of Award Winning Actors

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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Last night, The Irish Film and Television Awards were presented in front of a glittering audience of stars at The Mansion House in Dublin and amidst the galaxy of award winners The Gaiety School of Acting was proud to count a myriad of alumni.

Sarah Greene, who graduated from the school in 2006 led the charge, walking away with the much sought after Rising Star award in addition to the gong for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her part as the young Christina in Noble.

Appearing alongside Greene in the biopic was a fellow past pupil of her alma mater, Deirdre O’Kane. Noble has clearly not only won the hearts of the critics, but also the IFTA judges with O’Kane securing the award for Best Actress for playing the role of the Christina of later years.

Moe Dunford has come a long way since graduating from The Gaiety School in 2009 to claim the much deserved Best Actor award for his challenging role as the schizophrenic lead in critically acclaimed Patrick’s Day.

Charlie Murphy held the fort in the television end of things as she walked away with the gong for Best Actress in a Drama for her well-known depiction of the aggrieved Siobhan in Love/Hate. Murphy graduated from the school in 2008 and has been making waves on stage and screen ever since.

It has been quite the 24 hours for The Gaiety School’s past pupils, both at the Mansion house and further afield at The Cannes Film Festival where The Lobster, featuring Colin Farrell was awarded the prestigious Jury Prize.

In 2016 The Gaiety School of Acting, The National Theatre School of Ireland, will mark thirty years providing professional actor training. With our alumni doing us incredibly proud nationally and internationally, suffice to say the school is flying higher than ever.


The Gaiety School of Acting & The National Theatre School of Ireland was founded in 1986 by internationally renowned Theatre Director Joe Dowling in response to the lack of full time actor training in Ireland at the time. The school if now widely regarded as the country’ s premier training facility for actors with Patrick Sutton as Director.

The school has been providing professional actor training for almost 30 years and include Colin Farrell, Olivia Wilde, Colin O Donoghue, Aidan Turner (Best Male Newcomer, Jameson Empire Awards 2014), Eva Birthistle (Best Actress Lead Television Award, IFTA 2014) Charlie Murphy (BAFTA nomination: Best Drama 2014) and Sarah Greene (Tony Award Nominee 2014) as alumni of distinction.

In addition to a Full Time course in Intensive Professional Actor Training, the school provides an extensive programme for adults, children and young people throughout the country that encourage individuals to grow in confidence and develop techniques which will enable them to respond to the challenges of theatre, film and television industries. Courses are available in Temple Bar, Cork, Malahide and Bray during the year. In addition, the school also runs an extensive Outreach and International programmes.

Frank Bolger

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