Ian McElhinney

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Ian McElhinney
McElhinney in 2014
Born (1948-06-30) 30 June 1948 (age 75)
Alma materBrandeis University
Occupation(s)Actor, director
Years active1981–present
SpouseMarie Jones

Ian McElhinney (born 30 June 1948) is a Northern Irish actor and director. He has appeared in many television series in a career spanning more than forty years; notable appearances include Taggart, Hornblower, Cold Feet, and The Tudors. In recent times his best known roles are as Barristan Selmy in Game of Thrones,[1] Morgan Monroe in The Fall, and Granda Joe in Derry Girls.

Early life[edit]

McElhinney was born in Belfast, the son of a Church of Ireland (Anglican) clergyman and teacher.[2] He studied international affairs at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He worked as a teacher at Goole Grammar School, now known as Goole Academy, in Yorkshire, England, for several years before becoming an actor. He started acting professionally at the age of 30, playing Bill Sikes in a theatre production of Oliver!.[3]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to playwright and actress Marie Jones; in 2009 the couple started their own company, Rathmore Productions Ltd.[4] They live in Belfast and have three sons.[5]


Film and television[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1981 Cowboys television film
1982 BBC2 Playhouse "Mousey" episode "Potatohead Blues"
Angel Groom
1984 After You've Gone television film
Brond Kennedy television series NB 1987, not 1984
Anne Devlin Major Sirr
1985 Acceptable Levels Andy
Lamb Maguire
1986 The End of the World Man Architect
Screen Two Damien / Inspector McBride Episodes "Shergar" / "Naming the Names"
1987 The Rockingham Shoot John Reilly television film
Lapsed Catholics Derek O'Gorman television film
First Sight Joe Episode "The Last of a Dyin' Race"
A Prayer for the Dying Lodger
1988 Wipe Out Max Raines TV mini-series (Episodes 1–5)
1989 Reefer and the Model Reefer
1990 The Grasscutter Brian Devlin
Shoot to Kill Assistant Chief Constable Trevor Forbes television film
Hidden Agenda Jack Cunningham
Fools of Fortune The Stranger
4 Play Eddie / McQuire Episodes "Valentine Falls"/ "In the Border Country"
1991 Children of the North O'Hare
1992 The Playboys Joe Cassidy
The Bill Mickey Felcher Episode "Trial and Error"
Screenplay Reggie Devine Episode "You, Me & Marley"
1993 Spender Flynn Episode "Bad Company"
Lovejoy Cieran Stow Episode "Ducking and Diving"
Circle of Deceit Father Fergel television film
Between the Lines Chief Superintendent Trevor Dunne Episode "The Great Detective"
A Woman's Guide to Adultery Martin Unknown episodes
Taggart Archie Rae / Sean O'Donnell Episodes "Death Without Dishonour"/ "Cause and Effect"
1994 Blind Justice Father Malone
1995 Beyond Reason Smythe QC television film
Hearts and Minds Alex Unknown episodes
Life After Life Working Out Governor television film
The Pan Loaf Short
1996 The Boy from Mercury Brother Dowdall
Small Faces Uncle Andrew
Michael Collins Belfast Detective
Hamlet Barnardo Shakespearean
1997 Silicone Valerie Short
Wokenwell Sergeant Duncan Bonney
This Is the Sea Da Stokes
The Boxer Reggie Bell
1998 Divorcing Jack Alfie Stewart
Touch and Go Clive Bevan television film
Hornblower Captain Hammond Episode "The Examination for Lieutenant"
Maisie Raine C.S. Jack Freeman
1999 Durango Vestor McCarthy television film
A Love Divided Reverend Hamilton
Queer as Folk Clive Jones Episodes "Episode #1.6" and "Episode #2.1"
2000 Queer as Folk 2 Clive Jones television film
Borstal Boy Verreker
The King's Wake Aherne (voice)
In Defence DCS David Dillne Episode "No. 1.3"
2001 Hornblower Captain Hammond Episodes "Mutiny" and "Retribution"
Mapmaker Inspector Devlin
2002 No Tears Padraig McFadden TV mini-series
2003 Murphy's Law Fulton Episode "Manic Munday"
Hornblower Captain Hammond Episode "Loyalty"
Holby City Brian Chapman Episode "For Better, for Worse"
Cold Feet Bill Williams Season 5
Doctors Howard Brackley Episode "Faking the Dead"
The Clinic Joseph McGarry Episodes "1.2", "1.3", "1.4", "1.7" and "1.8"
2004 Omagh Stanley McCombe television film
2005 Coronation Street Father Thomas 5 episodes
Pure Mule Harry Kilroy Episode "Kevin's Weekend"
2006 The Front Line Mikey
2007 Rough Diamond Tim Regan Episodes "1.2" and "1.6"
The Tudors Pope Clement VII Episode "Message to the Emperor"
Casualty Robert Finch Episode "Communion"
Closing the Ring Cathal Thomas
Single-Handed Ex-Garda Sergeant Gerry Driscoll Episodes "Home Part 1 & 2" and "Stolen Child Part 1 & 2"
2008 Fairy Tales Vice-Chancellor Ralph Graham Episodes "Cinderella"
Clay Father O'Mahoney television film
Of Best Intentions Thomas Midgely Short
Last Man Hanging The Narrator television film
City of Ember Builder
Little Dorrit Mr. Clennam Episodes "1.1" and "1.13"
Raw Phillip Episode “1.6”
2009 A Shine of Rainbows Father Doyle
Swansong: Story of Occi Byrne Skip
Triage Ivan
Scapegoat H.A. McVeigh QC television film
2010 New Tricks Fintan MacEntee Episode "Coming Out Ball"
An Old Fashioned Christmas Sean Bassett television film
Leap Year Priest
2011 Bittersweet Father Short video
Brendan Smyth: Betrayal of Trust Abbot Smith television film
The Sea Alfred Blunden Based on The Sea
2011–2015 Game of Thrones Ser Barristan Selmy 25 episodes
2012–2014 Ripper Street Theodore P. Swift 3 episodes
2013 Moonfleet Reverend Glennie 2 episodes
2013–2014 The Fall Morgan Monroe 4 episodes (main cast)
Episode: "These Troublesome Disguises" (guest star)
2014 Quirke Bill Latimer Episode: "Elegy For April"
2015 A Patch of Fog Freddie Clarke
2016 Rebellion Edward Butler Season 1
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story General Jan Dodonna
Sacrifice D.I. McKie
2017 Bad Day for the Cut Eamon
The Frankenstein Chronicles Dr. Lennox 2 episodes
Redwater Lance Byrne
Zoo Mr. Shawcross
2018 Krypton Val-El
2018–2022 Derry Girls Granda Joe Main cast
2019 Silent Witness Pat Walsh
2020 Doctor Who Ko Sharmus Guest; "Ascension of the Cybermen" and "The Timeless Children"
The Split Professor Ronnie Recurring cast (series 2)
The Deceived Hugh Callaghan
2021 Bloodlands Adam Corry 3 episodes
2021–2022 The Outlaws John Sr. 10 episodes
2022 Suspicion Grandad Episode: "Rooms For Doubt"
2023 Unforgotten Lord Tony Hume Series 5
A Small Light Johannes Kleiman 8 episodes
The Last Rifleman Tom Malcolmson
The Boys in the Boat Elderly Joe Rantz
2024 High Country Sam Dryson 8 episodes


Date Title Role Author Director Station
24 April 2012 The Biggest Issues[6] Clive Watson Annie McCartney Eoin O'Callaghan BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Drama

Web series[edit]

Year Show Role Notes
2016 Game Grumps Himself 1 episode


  1. ^ Walker, Tim (7 August 2014). "Game of Thrones star's ghosted tweets". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  2. ^ Barter, Pavel (18 March 2018). "Ian McElhinney: Belfast's super man". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  3. ^ Allen, Kelly (25 February 2021). "Bloodlands sees return of the blood brothers Ian McElhinney and James Nesbitt". belfasttelegraph. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  4. ^ Rathmore Productions Ltd. Archived 20 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ McCarry, Gráinne (7 August 2008). "Me and my health: Marie Jones". Belfast Telegraph.[dead link]
  6. ^ "BBC – Afternoon Drama – The Biggest Issues". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 1 December 2023.

External links[edit]