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Laois man was world renowned cinematographer

Jack Conroy who has died in Naas was a world renowned cinematographer, who at the height of his career was a much sought after Director of Photography.

He is originally from Clonad in Laois and a member of the fabled Conroy clan who have played such a significant role in the local community and in particular their exploits on the hurling fields are the stuff of legend.

Jack Conroy leaves behind a considerable and highly rated body of work in the sphere of cinema and television, but he will be best remembered for his collaboration with Director Jim Sheridan and producer Noel Pearson on the hugely successful and highly acclaimed movies, ‘My Left Foot’ (1989) and ‘The Field’ (1990).

These worldwide box office successes saw him working alongside the Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA award winning actors Daniel Day Lewis, Brenda Fricker, Ray Mc Nally, Richard Harris, John Hurt, and Seán Bean. Of course the John B Keane story, ‘The Field’ was also nominated for an Oscar in the Best Film category.

His earlier credits include ‘Two by Forsyth’ (1984) and ‘The Woman Who Married Clark Gable’ (1985), which was based on a short story by Seán O’ Faoláin and featured Bob Hoskins, Brenda Fricker and Eamon Kelly. His other films include ‘The Playboys’ (192), ‘The Last Outlaw’ (1993), ‘The Hunted’ (1995) and ‘A Bright Shining Lie’ (1998).

Jack Conroy continued working in the film business right up until 2016 when he directed ‘The Gaelic Curse’. He had been in failing health in more recent times.

His wife Mona was distinguished in the entertainment industry in her own right as a talented founding member of the Naas Musical Society and as someone who was central to the success of so many of their award winning productions for over 30 years.

His son John followed his father into the film industry and has established himself as a successful Director of Photography, most recently working on such productions as ‘Fortitude’, ‘Broadchurch’ and ‘Penny Dreadful’. He recalled in a recent interview how his first job in films was as Clapper Boy on ‘The Field’, and cited his father as one of his major influences.

Jack Conroy of Our Lady’s Place, Naas and formerly of Clonad is survived by his wife Mona; his children Marnie, John, Ann, Emer and Emmet and his 17 grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Vera Donohue (Stradbally) and his brothers Tony, George, Jim, Peter and Louis; daughter-in-law Rachel, sons-in-law Gerry and Fergal; sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

Reposing at his home on Tuesday, November 5 from 5pm with prayers at 7pm.

Removal on Wednesday, November 6 at 10.20am to arrive at The Church of The Irish Martyrs, Ballycane, Naas for Funeral Mass at 11am, followed by private cremation in Newland’s Cross Crematorium.

Family flowers only please. Donations, if desired, to the carers of Le Cheile in St. Vincent’s Hospital, Athy. Donation box in church.

The late Jack Conroy from Clonad, film maker extraordinaire.

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John Whelan has been a journalist, commentator, columnist, political analyst, campaigner, politician and publisher ever since he was 17. Having been Editor of the Leinster Express, Offaly Express and the Leinster Leader he has also contributed extensively on a number of issues to all of the country's flagship titles and programmes including the Irish Press, The Irish Independent, the Star, the Sunday Independent, the Sunday Business Post, The Sunday Times and Prime Time. He is founder of Communicate Ireland a PR, public affairs, event management and media services company. He is the author of the popular camping blog, Vanhalla - Camper Heaven.