Michael and Donie join forces with exciting business plan

Great pals: Hollywood actor Michael Fassbender (right) with his friend and mentor, Donal Courtney, who are planning to set up an acting school.
Picture: Valerie O’Sullivan

HOLLYWOOD star Michael Fassbender is understood to be planning to link up with his former acting tutor and close pal Donal Courtney with a proposal to open a new school of acting in their home town of Killarney.

A planning application has been lodged with Kerry County Council to change the use of the landmark West End House building on New Street from a ground floor restaurant and first floor beauty parlour to an acting school.

The building, a protected 19th century structure, is owned by the Fassbender family and it was operated as a popular restaurant for many years by the movie star’s parents, Josef and Adele.

The planning application was submitted to the local authority by Dromin Ltd which is believed to be a company owned by Josef Fassbender.

Michael Fassbender and Donal Courtney were both actively involved in setting a local theatre company, called Bricriu, in Killarney over 25 years ago and they staged several performances in venues around the town.

Donal initially established the performance group and one of the first to sign up for his workshops in St Brendan’s College was the then Fossa teenager with stars in his eyes.

West End House: Planning application lodged

Michael went on to become an A-list Hollywood celebrity with major roles in several hit movies including 12 Years A Slave, Hunger, The Light Between Oceans, Steve Jobs and Shame.

Writer and actor Donal, a son of former town councillor Michael and Sheila Courtney, from Ardshanavooley, is a graduate of the Gaiety School of Acting and he is well known for God Has No Country, his brilliant one-man show based on the life and times of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty.

He also appeared on the RTÉ soap Fair City and in the BBC drama The Tudors.

Although he is now living in Portugal, with his actress wife Alicia Vikander, it is understood that Michael Fassbender will be very involved in the venture.

Contacted by KillarneyToday.com, Donal Courtney stressed that no comment will be made to the media while the matter is still the subject of a planning application and while the acting school proposal is still at the development stage.