The son of IRA Chief of Staff Cathal Goulding and Beatrice ffrench-Salkeld, the widow of playwright Brendan Behan, Paudge Behan worked briefly as a journalist for a Dublin newspaper before turning to acting.After a series of minor film and television roles in the 1990s, he was handpicked by English novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford to appear as the male lead in a 1999 dramatisation of her book A Secret Affair (1996).Gerry and the Pacemakers was the second group signed by Brian Epstein and remained among his favourite artists.Their first single was "How Do You Do It," recommended by George Martin after it was initially given to the Beatles.Adrian Dunbar’s favourite Brendan Behan anecdote involves Behan, Patrick Kavanagh and Brian O’Nolan standing outside Neary’s pub in Dublin in the pouring rain waiting for the doors to open after holy hour.Behan reportedly turns to the other two and says: “The problem with Dublin these days is that there are just no characters.” All irony aside, the image of these three men, huddled forlornly, locked out, strikes a chord with Dunbar.
“They were the only dissenting voices in Ireland at the time, and they paid a very heavy price for it.” As we approach the 50th anniversary of Behan’s death next year, Dunbar reckons the time has come to resuscitate his legacy – not so much the tourism-oriented mythology around the black stuff and blarney, but the literature itself.
Behan has also appeared in the feature films A Man of No Importance (1994), Conspiracy of Silence (2003) and Veronica Guerin (2003), and has taken leading roles in two short films, A Lonely Sky (2006) and Wake Up (2007).
He has also auditioned unsuccessfully for Neighbours and popular UK black comedy, Doctors.
He believes writers like Behan were “terribly served” by 1950s Ireland.
It might be hard to relate to in these more secular times, but Brendan Behan was shunned by many aspects of society, at least partly because of his excommunication from the Catholic Church.grew up at 5 Anglesea Road, a red-brick, semi-detached late Victorian house in Ballsbridge, Dublin, which Brendan Behan bought for his wife Beatrice in 1959 for IR£1,400.