Sinead Keenan

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Sinead Keenan
Born Sinead Keenan
(1977-12-27) 27 December 1977 (age 37)
Dublin, Ireland
Occupation Actress
Years active 1999–present

Sinead Keenan (born 27 December 1977)[1] is an Irish actress with a wide range of television, film and stage credits. Keenan is best known to Irish viewers for playing Farrah Phelan in Fair City and is best known to UK viewers for playing the role of werewolf Nina Pickering on BBC Three's supernatural drama Being Human,[2] which began airing in 2009. Keenan has been a regular cast member since Series 3 began airing in 2011. In November 2011, Keenan's on-screen partner, Russell Tovey announced he would be leaving Being Human to work full-time on his BBC Three sitcom, Him & Her.[3] On 9 January 2012, it was announced by show creator Toby Whithouse and confirmed by Keenan on Twitter that she would not be appearing in the fourth series of the supernatural drama.


Keenan is the eldest of three children. Her younger brother and sister, Rory and Grainne,[4] are also actors.[5] She grew up in Dublin, Ireland. She attended University College Dublin[4] and has a degree in Sociology and History.[6] As a child, Keenan says she wanted to be a lawyer because she loved the US legal drama, Matlock, but as she got older she realised that she actually just wanted to play the part of the lawyer, not be one.[5]


Keenan's first role was in 1999, when she was cast as the teenage girlfriend of Cillian Murphy in the film, Sunburn.[5] After this, she played the character Farrah Phelan in Irish soap opera Fair City for a year. Keenan has stated she would return to Fair City, as another character.[7]

Keenan left Fair City amid fears of becoming type-cast,[8] and moved on to film the movie On the Nose with Cracker actor Robbie Coltrane. Her next television role was as Lisa Cassidy in short-lived Irish sitcom The Cassidys.

Keenan then went on to have guest roles in Murder City, Taggart and Doctors, along with starring in movies Conspiracy of Silence and Trouble with Sex, before landing the role of Kelly Hawkins in ITV's Moving Wallpaper, which ran for two series.

Following this, Keenan found played Nina Pickering in Toby Whithouse's Being Human. The actress, and her chemistry with on-screen boyfriend Russell Tovey, was so well liked by Whithouse that he edited the storyline to keep Keenan's character in the show.[citation needed] The character of Nina was retained for the second and third series; in the latter Keenan was upgraded to a main cast member.

Following her success in Being Human, Keenan has had guest roles in Victoria Wood's Mid Life Christmas, Agatha Christie's Poirot, Silent Witness and David Tennant's final episodes of Doctor Who.

Throughout her career, Keenan has had strong roots in theatre becoming a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), playing parts such as Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream[9] and Evie in the original play, The American Pilot.[10] She also starred in Comedy of Errors.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Sinead is 5 feet 1.5 inches (156.2 cm) tall. On 25 September 2011, Keenan announced that she was engaged.[12] Keenan is allergic to chocolate.[13]



Year Title Role Notes
1999 Fair City Farrah Phelan
2001 The Cassidys Lisa Cassidy
2004 Murder City Young Mother Series 1, Episode 5
2007 Taggart Alic Martin Series 23, Episode 3 - Tenement
2008 Doctors Elena Series 10, Episode 22 - Larp
2008 Moving Wallpaper Kelly Hawkins
2009 Comedy Showcase Wendy Series 2, Episode 4 - The Amazing Dermot
2009 - 2011 Being Human Nina Pickering Series One, Episodes 2-6, Series Two, Episodes 1-4, 7, 8. Series Three, Episodes 1-8
2009 Agatha Christie's Poirot Nora Brent Series 12, Episode 1 - The Clocks
2009 Doctor Who Addams The End Of Time - Part One and Two
2009 Victoria Wood's Mid Life Christmas Delia Smith's Secretary
2010 Victoria Wood's Little Cracker Mrs Whitefield Short for Sky1
2011 Silent Witness Naomi Silverlake Series 14, Episode 1-2 - A Guilty Mind
2012 Lip Service Nora Series 2,
2013 London Irish Bronagh Channel 4
2015 Uncle (TV series) Maggie Series 2, Episode 5 - A Guilty Mind

Personal Appearances[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2009 Doctor Who Confidential Herself Lords and Masters, Allons-y!
2011 Alan Carr: Chatty Man Herself Series 5, Episode 7


Year Title Role Notes
1999 Sunburn Margaret Keenan's First Role
2001 On The Nose Sinead Delaney
2003 Conspiracy of Silence Majella
2004 Mind Of the Crime Carrie TV Movie
2006 Trouble With Sex Kathy

Radio and CD audio drama[edit]

Year Title Role Radio Station / Production Company
2011 Crimes Of Mancunia DCI Lise Lazard BBC Radio 4


Year Title Role Theatre / Notes
2003 Loyal Women Adele The Royal Court Theatre
2005 The American Pilot Evie The Other Place
2005 Comedy of Errors Luciana Royal Shakespeare Theatre
2006 A Midsummer Night's Dream Hermia Novello Theatre


External links[edit]