Sunday 1 August 2010


Site Editor, Stephen McKenna writes:

There are actors who retain every script and press cutting and whose study walls are lined with posters and memoirs of past productions and former triumphs,  TP McKenna, however, was never such a creature.

He enjoyed every moment of his long career but, as a pragmatist, he  always lived life for the moment, and for the next part .

Thank goodness then for his sister, Imelda, who had the application to keep track of her brother’s illustrious career.

Across five meticulously compiled volumes, the cuttings she assembled tell the story of an actor’s life and a career the like of which scarcely exists today. The trajectory from repertory theatre to television to films and the interweaving of these mediums that continued across fifty years.

It is that archive which has now made this website possible and the intention is to put a substantial amount of that material online along with an occasional commentary that tells the story of  a most diverse and fortunate career.

Indeed, TP was doubly fortunate in that he was sustained throughout his career by the love and support of his wife, May, and his five children, and it has been a privilege also to provide an intimate glimpse into our life as a family.

We thank you sincerely for your interest and we thank all those whose additional support has made this site possible.

Stephen McKenna
Site Editor


  1. This site is such a wonderful tribute to your father; I only know him through his performance in Doctor Who, but it was with great sadness that I read of his passing and wanted to convey my sincere condolences. Speaking on behalf of the Sylvester McCoy Appreciation Society, please know that his work was greatly appreciated and will not be soon forgotten.

  2. So sorry to hear of the death of your father. I'm writing from South Africa, but go back to Ireland often. Did I really see him in the Gaiety pantomimes - all those tights and stage smoke and 'he's behind you'? And Girl with Green Eyes? He's been part of so many people's lives for such a long time. You must all be very proud him and will miss him badly. The website is a great tribute to a remarkable lifetime's work, and reflects an affection and originality among his family that I'm sure he must have been proud of too.

  3. Stephen, Sincere condolences to your family from Melbourne (visiting our daughter).

    Great memories of TP from the stage in Dublin to The Kennedys of Castleross. Isn't it great to see a marriage lasting the pace, thro thick and thin.

    Have bookmarked the site and look forward to some gems.


    Jim Murray, Stepaside, Co. Dublin

  4. Dear Stephen,
    This is such a beautiful website. I'm so sorry to hear about your father. He was a wonderful brother to my mother and a great uncle. I have many happy memories of Uncle T.P. and Aunt May that I will forever treasure. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.
    Take care and God bless,
    Patrick and Jessica O'Connell

  5. I have only just heard the news. My Dad would have mourned your father's passing, if he hadn't beaten him to it. My father, Peter Tevlin, originally from Kells, Co. Meath, died in February 2010. He had often told me the story about TP leaving the Bank and his early theatre days in Dublin and it was wonderful to read those stories here. My father was a friend of one of TP's brothers in his youth and, therefore, was lucky enough to meet TP in the early days. Every year before my father's birthday, I would check to see if there was a T.P. McKenna autobiography that I could get as a gift. Unfortunately, I could never find one. My Dad would have loved this website.
    R.I.P. TP.
    Jakki Tevlin