McGovern is a former member of the RTÉ Players and the Abbey Theatre Company. A prolific actor, he has worked in theatre, film, radio and television, as well as written music for many shows, and co-written two musicals and directed plays and operas. Films include Riders to The SeaJoe Versus the Volcano,Billy BathgateFar and AwayBraveheartThe Disappearance of FinbarThe InformantMiracle at Midnight and Sparrow’s Trap; he worked with director Atom Egoyan on Felicia’s Journey.

He is known internationally for his award-winning one-man Beckett show I’ll Go On, which the Gate Theatre presented at the 1985 Dublin Theatre Festival.

McGovern gave a lecture on James Joyce on the 18th February, 2008 in Dublin and is known for his annual readings from Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ on Bloomsday at the Joyce Tower in Sandycove, Co. Dublin. He has also presented a series of podcasts called ‘Joyce’s Dublin’, based around ‘The Dead’ and produced by Joyce’s alma mater, University College Dublin.

McGovern also played the role of Seán Ó Riada in the film ‘A Vertical man’ directed by Christopher Swan.

Barry McGovern is one of Ireland’s foremost actors.