Honouring F.J. McCormick


Madam, - It has long been established that the actor F.J. McCormick was the finest of his generation and arguably the most talented to have trod the boards of our national theatre, the only remotely comparable figure in recent years being the late, great Donal McCann.

The author Colm Tóibín gratuitously and unwarrantedly maligned this actor in his recent play Beauty in A Broken Place.

Ben Barnes's mealy-mouthed defence (December 9th) does neither himself nor Mr Tóibín any favours.

It essentially distils down to an appreciation of McCormick, describing him as both "celebrated" and "illustrious", while at the same time upholding Tóibín's right to "the freedom of artistic expression", despite this freedom amounting to nothing more than an unbalanced character assassination on McCormick.

Mr Barnes's approach is a prime example of that great national tradition of trying to be all things to all people, whereby, in the end, nobody actually gets anything tangible, as a result. - Yours, etc.,

DAVID MARLBOROUGH, Kenilworth Park, Dublin 6W.