Local sisters on the big and small screens

So dedicated to acting are two Killenard sisters that a trip to Thailand for a family wedding was recently cancelled to allow them both to appear in a play.

So dedicated to acting are two Killenard sisters that a trip to Thailand for a family wedding was recently cancelled to allow them both to appear in a play.

11-year-old Olivia Daly and her big sister Gillian (17) are fast making a name for themselves in the world of screen acting, with roles in RTE television productions, advertising campaigns and short films. They are now both starring in a new short film ‘Testimony’, a courtroom drama with Olivia in the lead.

“The producer went around stage schools in Dublin looking for the lead part and chose Olivia,” said proud dad, Alan. “Then the producer offered Gillian the part of the older sister.”

After the film was finished, director Kamila Dydyna posted on her Facebook page: “My 11-year-old star delivered a more consistent performance over three long shooting days than some of the adult actors you see on the big screen.”

The Daly family - the two girls, dad Alan and mum Anne - originally lived in Newbridge, where Gillian began studying drama when she was about six or seven. Once the family relocated to Killenard Olivia caught the acting bug, and both girls began attending the Showstoppers Stage School, formerly in Port and now based in Templeogue.

“All their opportunities came through Showstoppers,” explained Alan. “Olivia’s first time on television was the Late, Late Toy Show when she was four, Showstoppers suggested it and we sent in a video of her performance. It was her first taste of stardom.”

After that, Olivia went on to model for Debenhams on TV3, and most recently appeared on Irish screens in RTE Jnr’s ‘Why Guy’ and ‘Clue Crew’ in 2012/2013. Gillian has appeared in ‘ICE’, ‘The Den’ on RTE2 and ‘Rumour Room’, also on RTE2, and she is currently starring in three or four short films. She is also receiving training under LAMDA (the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) and will be qualified to teach after doing her exam in May.