AS Ireland mourns the loss of one of its finest actors today, Mick Lally's onscreen daughter in Glenroe said she was "grateful" to have seen him one last time before his tragic death.
Blathnaid Treacy (22) will be saying her final goodbyes to Lally, best known for his iconic Miley Byrne role, at his funeral taking place in Newlands Cross crematorium chapel today.
"It's sort of a tragic irony that the last scene we shot for Glenroe was just after Biddy [Miley's wife] had died in a car accident, it was all about how the three of us -- Mick, Grace Barry [Miley's other daughter] and I -- were about to embark on our new life," she said.
"Today the whole cast is coming back together for Mick's funeral ... He's the one who's passed on, and it feels very strange and horrible."
The blonde, who started playing Miley and Biddy's daughter Denise when she was just three months old, counts herself lucky to have seen the veteran on stage earlier this year, as she had not been in contact with him since the end of the popular show.
"It was shocking to hear that he'd passed but I'm just so glad and grateful that I got to see him one last time," she told the Herald.
"He'd been such a part of my life for so long and then when the show had ended, that was it, I didn't see anyone from Glenroe for nine years.
"I got in touch with Mary McEvoy a few months ago and she invited me to see her act with Mick in The Matchmaker at the Tivoli Theatre.
"It was surreal to see them again, and really impressive because I could appreciate their talent now."
The 22-year-old UCD graduate only has fond memories of the man who used to call her 'Blathnaidin' and speak Irish to her on set.
"I don't remember him ever being angry, he was always very approachable and he'd always play games with us," she told the Herald.
"I remember bouncing on his knees and he'd pretend to drop me, and I also remember dancing with him, my feet over his."
Unlike her onscreen sister, Grace Barry, who took up drama when the show was axed in 2001, Blathnaid chose to stay out of the limelight.
"After the show had ended, I wanted to take a break, be a normal person," she said.
"I didn't really enjoy the attention that I got, so after that I just concentrated on my studies," she said.
Blathnaid decided to pursue her passion again after she completed a UCD Arts degree in Modern Irish and Archaeology.
"This year, I worked with Cashmere Media, I did an advert for the Porterhouse that is being shown at the Shanghai World Expo, it was the first bit of acting I'd done since Glenroe, and I really enjoyed it.
"It was kind of going back home, I've grown up in studios, so I felt really comfortable around the set, it made me really want to be involved in television again, it was exciting.
"I know a lot of hard work goes into any kind of media work, but it's the career I want," she added.