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Niall Toibin was born into an Irish speaking family and didn’t learn to speak English until he began school.  “On my first day of school, since I didn’t speak any English, I had no idea what was going on . . . my older sister was to look after me.”


Peter O’Toole once directed Niall Toibin in a radio production of Godot.  During the rehearsal O”Toole told Niall to pause after certain lines.  Niall delivered the lines and paused as directed which resulted in the following outburst:

“Listen to me, you pillock,” said O’Toole, “It’s a pause!”

“I paused,” replied Toibin.

“You stopped!”  roared O’Toole.

Niall explains the difference in stopping and pausing on the radio like this:
“To pause, you stop talking, but you don’t stop mentally.”


President Ronald Reagan bought young Niall Toibin a drink in 1948.  Ronald Reagan and Joan Caulfied were in Dublin for a charity premier and they dropped into the old Abbey Theatre for a tour.  After a look around, Reagan invited everyone to the Flowing Tide on Abbey Street and there he bought the teenager a bottle of Guinness.


Niall Toibin was once described as the greatest chipper of the ball in Ireland.

"The reason was that in the television series, Bracken, there was a scene I had with Gabriel Byrne who comes to interview my character, Ned Daley, the baddie. So Daley's out on his lawn, chipping a series of golf-balls. Throughout the whole interview, Daley never looks up and just continuously chips away. By sheer luck, every single ball I hit went bop, like clockwork and everyone of them took the same trajectory. Looking at it, I was playing like a pro. We got it in one take which was quite an achievement."


Niall Toibin once shared the same horse with Richard Burton in scene from a movie currently marketed under the name of Lovespell.  Years later when the two worked on Wagner, Burton asked Niall, “do you remember that bloody awful movie we did in Ireland?”


While traveling back to Dublin on the train, Niall Toibin borrowed a cell phone to “check in at home.”  Judy told him that casting director, Nuala Moiselle had been frantically trying to reach him.  He rang Nuala who told him that they had run into a crisis situation filming Veronica Guerin.  He agreed to help her out.  Nuala had a car waiting at the station to rush him to the location.  They put him in costume and makeup and handed him a script.  He learned his lines and they shot the courtroom scene where Niall plays Judge Ballaugh opposite Cate Blanchett.  Start to finish, from the time Niall got out of the car until he got back in it to leave was only 60 minutes!  Niall reckons it to be some sort of record.  Director, Joel Schumacher called Niall to the stage during the movie premier in Dublin to thank him for saving the picture.


Instead of following a grand plan in his profession, Niall Toibin describes his as “my swerving about madly career.”


Pierce Brosnan refers to Niall Toibin as "the Pope of Cork."


Niall has two daughters in show business: New York actress, Fiana Toibin and stage director, Sighle Toibin in Ireland. 
Toibinian Trivia