Pauline McLynn was born in 1962 in Sligo to Padraig and Sheila but six months later they moved to Galway where she grew up. She was educated by the Mercy Convent nuns, primary and secondary school, before going to Trinity College Dublin to study modern English and History of Art.
She joined Players, the student drama society, and although she is the proud possesser of a degree (MA) she decided to pursue a career in acting on leaving college.
Since then she has acted with all of the major Irish theatre companies including the Abbey, the Gate, Rough Magic and Druid.
On television she started out with Gerard Stembridge on RTE with Nothing to It?, ostensibly a show for younger viewers trying to find jobs but really a comedy drama/sitcom.
This was spotted by one Dermot Morgan, who couldn’t believe that a drama had been snuck into the schedule early on a Monday evening, so he contacted them saying ‘I’ve had an idea for a weekly satirical piece for radio’ and Scrap Saturday was born. Pauline played all of the women in it.
Pauline has read Books at Bedtime for both RTE and BBC and been in many radio plays for both too.
On television she is probably best known for her role as Mrs Doyle in Father Ted. She is also a regular on Bremner, Bird & Fortune where she is part of the popular and infamous ‘dinner party’ scenes with the 2 Johns and Frances Barber.
Her films include Far and Away, When Brendan Met Trudy, An Everlasting Piece, Angela’s Ashes and Heidi and Gypo (which is due for cinema release in October 2007).
She has written 5 novels, the first 3 featuring Irish Private Eye Leo Street. These are Something for the Weekend, Better Than a Rest and Right on Time. Then came 2 stand-alone novels: The Woman on the Bus and Summer in the City (out now in paperback).
She has contributed short stories to many charity collections including Moments (in aid of Tsunami victims) Magic (in aid of One Parent Families) and Girl’s Night In (for Warchild). She also wrote a chapter of Yeats is Dead, the serial novel by 15 Irish writers, including Roddy Doyle, Marian Keyes, Joe O’Connor and Frank McCourt.
She is currently working on her sixth novel, a monologue for Women’s Hour (BBC Radio 4) and a libretto for Opera Theatre Company, with composer Neil Martin.
She is Patron of the friends of Innisfree Housing Association in London, which helps house the disadvantaged Irish.
She is Patron of World Vision Ireland with Victoria Smurfit.
She is a member of the Board of Rough Magic Theatre Company, Dublin.