Coronation Street pays tribute to show's legendary actress

Doreen Keogh died at the age of 91 – and was the ITV soap's original barmaid

Original Coronation Street star Doreen Keogh has died at the age of 91. The Irish actress starred on the ITV soap in the show's early years, from 1960 until 1964, playing barmaid Cocepta Riley. She later returned to the show in 1967 and again from 1972 until 1975. The sad news of her death was confirmed via The Mirror on Tuesday, with John Whiston, the creative Director at ITV Studios, telling the publication: "All at Coronation Street are sad to hear about the death of Doreen Keogh. There have been many barmaids in the Rovers over the years, dispensing pints and wisdom in equal measure. But Doreen played the first and so has a unique place not just in the history of the show but in the affection of all who watch The Street."  

Doreen Keogh played barmaid Concepta Riley in Coronation Street 

John continued: "Our thoughts are with the family as they mourn the passing of a wonderful person. And together with our audience we also mourn the passing of a very special actor." Doreen’s nieces and nephews, Laurence, Matthew and Christina Keogh, said in a statement: "Our auntie Doreen died peacefully in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, Ireland, on New Year's Eve after a long illness." Doreen is survived by her husband, Jack Jenner.

Doreen also starred as Mary Carroll in The Royle Family 

Doreen was born in Dublin, Ireland, and left school at the age of 15 to pursue her acting ambitions, training with the Abbey Theatre School before moving to London. The actress also appeared in BBC One sitcom The Royle Family, where she played the family's neighbour Mary Carroll. She also had roles in popular shows including Father Ted, Cold Feet, and Irish soap Fair City.