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8 famous Irish actors you probably forgot were on The Clinic

Humble beginnings.

the clinic RTÉ RTÉ

BACK IN THE early 2000s, most of the country was glued to The Clinic, the RTÉ drama that revolved around the staff of Dublin’s most drama-filled medical centre.

The show gave a job to almost every actor in Ireland during its six year run, and many of them have gone on to big things. Look at them all, so fresh faced!

1. Chris O’Dowd

o'dowdclinic RTÉ / PA RTÉ / PA / PA

Chris played clinic staffer Brendan Davenport for the first three seasons, from 2003 to 2005. A year later, he was cast in The IT Crowd, and the rest is history.

2. Saoirse Ronan

saoirseclinic RTÉ / PA RTÉ / PA / PA

Three years before making her mark with Atonement, nine-year-old Saoirse made her TV debut on The Clinic. And now she’s a two-time Oscar nominee. Who’d have guessed?

3. Aidan Turner

aidan clinic YouTube / PA YouTube / PA / PA

Oh yeah, now he’s the hunky Poldark, but in season six he arrived as the new receptionist and wannabe nightclub owner Ruairí. Would you look at him.

4. Colin O’Donoghue

colin clinic YouTube / PA YouTube / PA / PA

Weirdly, Colin is not so famous in Ireland as he is out of it – he plays Captain Hook on the wildly popular US TV show Once Upon A Time. On The Clinic, he was Conor Elliott, boyfriend of Amy Huberman’s Daisy.

5. Robert Sheehan

robertsheehan YouTube / PA YouTube / PA / PA

Darrden turned up for one episode in 2006, playing a floppy-haired diabetic who was not very good with needles (a helpful fan has put all his scenes on YouTube).

6. Keith Duffy

keithclinic keithduffyexperience / PA keithduffyexperience / PA / PA

KEET! Riding high on his Coronation Street success, the former boybander joined The Clinic to play Paul Dunne, an Emergency Response Unit driver.

7. Liam Cunningham

liam clinic / PA / PA / PA

Liam was of course a well-established actor before appearing on the show, but he’s reached global fame since becoming Davos Seaworth. He directed two episodes of The Clinic as well, the multi-talented sod.

8. Ian McElhinney

ian mc / HBO / HBO / HBO

Like Liam Cunningham, Ian McElhinney was working for years before joining the show, and also like Liam Cunningham, he’s been propelled to greater fame by Game of Thrones. He had a five-episode stint on The Clinic in 2003.

Any Irish actors working in the 2000s who weren’t on The Clinic want to come forward? Just out of interest.

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