The Lir Academy Announces the Cyril Bennett Bursary

The Lir Academy today announces a student bursary in the name of Cyril Bennett. Cyril Bennett is the late husband of prolific and successful theatre producer Breda Cashe, co-founder of Lane Productions.

Cyril passed away suddenly on Christmas Day just over three years ago and is deeply missed by Breda and their two daughters Ellen and Elizabeth. Breda, Ellen and Elizabeth are choosing to celebrate Cyril’s memory through this student bursary.

Cyril worked as a senior executive with AIB for many years and later as Head of Business Advice and Support Service with the Credit Union of Ireland. However, it was his role as father and husband, and his love of music, the visual arts and theatre that really defined him.

Breda spoke of his ongoing support to her career in the arts, “I simply could not have achieved all that I have in this business without his wisdom and support, or his shoulders to cry on when things got rough (as they could do), but most of all his proud smile on opening nights when it all came together. It made it all worthwhile.”

Bursaries at The Lir Academy provide financial support for disadvantaged young people to access an education at The Lir and recipients will credit this bursary throughout their careers. The Lir Academy, our team and students are delighted that Breda, Ellen and Elizabeth are choosing to celebrate Cyril’s memory through a student bursary. This will ensure that his legacy and name is recognised for many years to come.

The Lir Academy's Former Director, Loughlin Deegan, spoke of the impact this bursary will have, “This kind of support is an extraordinary recognition by Cyril Bennett’s family of the work we undertake at The Lir Academy and the importance of supporting people of all backgrounds and abilities to pursue their ambitions in creative careers. We are delighted to receive support from the theatre sector and it is such a gift to be working with Breda on this bursary honouring her late husband Cyril Bennett.”

On her decision to initiate this bursary, Breda Cashe said, “I thought long and hard about how we might honour Cyril. In the end it came down to supporting the students of The Lir. It is an incredible organisation and a place where young talent is nurtured, sending them out into a business where they are fully equipped to achieve their goals and dreams. I know Cyril would be very happy about this decision.”

The Lir Academy Student Bursary Fund is open to all EU students who have been offered a place on the Undergraduate Bachelor in Acting, Undergraduate Bachelor in Stage Management and Technical Theatre or any of the Postgraduate courses at The Lir, National Academy of Dramatic Art, or are already studying here. Students can apply for the bursary once a place has been offered on the course. We will begin accepting applications for this award, and all our bursaries, for the coming academic year, starting in October 2023. The Cyril Bennett Bursary is available for EU students and it is income-assessed. For more information about this contact us at

If you would like to support a bursary or scholarship for our students and our outreach programme please contact Joanne O’Hagan on

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