Catholic Life

Catholic pupil kicks off festival

Ceallach Spellman stars as Harry Fisher in the award-winning BBC series Waterloo Road

The Catholic actor Ceallach Spellman, a former pupil of St Bede’s Catholic prep school in Manchester, has helped to launch this year’s Manchester Irish Festival.

Ceallach, 15, who plays Harry Fisher in the award winning Waterloo Road on the BBC, joined the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Cllr Mark Hackett, and other VIPs and celebrities at the civic launch of the two-week festival at Manchester Town Hall on March 4.

The actor’s Irish roots stem from Charlestown and Ballyhaunis in County Mayo, which is where his grandparents were born. Ceallac is actually an old Gaelic name derived from Connacht and loosely translated means “bright headed”.

When asked about how he felt to be asked to launch the festival, the modest actor replied: “I am extremely proud and flattered to be invited to the launch of this great festival.

“I remember vividly the day I went as a very young boy to the Palace in Levenshulme to support my friends from St Bede’s College and Prep School who were in the Young, Gifted and Green choir and dance troupe and was bowled over by the dancing of James Keegan (three times world champion and principal dancer with Lord of the Dance). I am very proud of my own Irish heritage and remember fondly my holidays in County Mayo with my family. I particularly loved going to the races in Roscommon and Ballinrobe where I could put on my own one euro bets.

“I wish the festival every success and would like to remind every body to keep tuning into Waterloo Road every Wednesday night on BBC One, before they head out to enjoy a festival event.”

Apart from Ceallach’s role as the son of the new headteacher (played by Amanda Burton) in Waterloo Road, he is also currently appearing on the new Harry Potter advertisement for Universal Studios in Florida.

His other television credits include Blue Murder with Caroline Quentin, Casualty, Coronation Street, The Cup and The X Factor Final.

He has also performed at the National Theatre in London, the Library Theatre and the Palace Theatre in Manchester and The Lowry Theatre in Salford and currently attends the Sylvia Young theatre school in London.