Sinead Keenan — things you didn't know about the TV star

Sinead Keenan attends the ITV Palooza 2022 wearing a one shouldered black dress and her hair tied up.
Sinéad Keenan has joined the cast of Unforgotten season 5. (Image credit: Getty)

Sinead Keenan has been acting since 1999, where she landed roles as Margaret in the comedy-drama Sunburn and as Farrah in the Irish soap Fair City. 

She is best known for her role as werewolf Nina Pickering on BBC Three's supernatural drama Being Human.

Recently, Sinéad joined the cast of Unforgotten season 5, where she's taking over from Nicola Walker as the series' leading detective. 

Now she's a series regular on the beloved ITV drama series, fans may be wondering where they've seen Sinéad before and other things about the Irish actress, including what career she wanted to pursue before going into acting.

Here's some things you might not know about Sinéad Keenan...


Sinead Keenan has joined Unforgotten as Detective Chief Inspector Jess James.  (Image credit: ITV)

Sinead Keenan originally wanted to be a lawyer

In an interview with Company, Sinéad revealed she wanted to be a lawyer because she loved the US legal drama, Matlock. However, once she got older she realised that she actually just wanted to play the part of the lawyer, not be one, and decided to go into acting instead.

She's starred in two Shakespeare plays

The cast of A Midsummer Night's Dream in 2005

The cast of A Midsummer Night's Dream in 2005. (Image credit: Royal Shakespeare Company)

Sinéad Keenan starred in two iconic Shakespeare plays. Her first Shakespearian role was Luciana in Comedy of Errors at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The second was the role of Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Novello Theatre in London's West End.

She's from Ireland — and also spent a lot of time in Northern Ireland too

Bronagh Lynch

 Sinéad played Bronagh Lynch in London Irish. (Image credit: Channel 4)

Sinéad was born in Dublin, Ireland but she spent a lot of time in Belfast as it's where her mum is from. In an interview with Channel 4, she spoke about what it was like doing the Northern Irish accent for her role in London Irish.

She said: "I’m from Dublin but it was okay. My mum’s from Belfast so I spent a lot of time in Belfast as a kid and she has a very soft Belfast accent as opposed to a strong one but it was fine. 

"I usually play English so if I hear myself using my own Dublin accent I find it weird now because I’ve played English so it was nice to do an Irish accent but not my own."

Her siblings are also actors

Sinéad Keenan has two younger siblings, Rory and Grainne, who are also in the acting profession. 

Her brother Rory played the role of Donal Henry in Peaky Blinders and recently starred in Katherine Ryan's comedy The Duchess where he played the role of Shep.

Meanwhile, Sinéad's sister Grainne has starred in The Wife, Una and also Three Families, where she acted alongside Sinéad. 

She gets uncomfortable when talking about acting

Sinead in Little Boy Blue

Sinéad was awarded her first RTS Programme Award for her role in Little Boy Blue. (Image credit: ITV)

In an interview with the Royal Television Society, Sinéad confessed she gets a bit "funny" whenever she has to speak about how she acts.

She explained: "I remember watching an interview with Paul Bettany once and he said, ‘acting is like sex, it’s nice to do but embarrassing to talk about'. It’s so true.

"I’ve tried to take parts that I find interesting, or well written, challenging. On the other hand, you have to live, you have to eat, you have to work, so it’s within that kind of jobbing actor thing, trying to balance those two things out."

Sinéad Keenan's Fact File

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the star....

How old is Sinéad Keenan?

Sinéad Keenan was born on 27 December 1977. She is 45 years old.

Is Sinéad Keenan married?

In 2012, Sinéad Keenan married Chris McGill, who is the director at DustHouse Theatre in London.

Does Sinéad Keenan have any children?

Yes, Sinéad Keenan has two sons. Their names are not public knowledge, but she does often tweet about motherhood. In one tweet, she confirmed her children were 7 and 5 years old. 

Where was Sinéad Keenan born?

Sinéad Keenan was born in Dublin, Ireland.

How tall is Sinéad Keenan?

Sinéad Keenan is 5 foot 1 inch tall. 

Twitter: @SineadKeenan

We work hard to ensure that all information is correct. Facts that change over time, such as age, will be correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of the last article update.

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress