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Eamon Ryan at the Irish Embassy yesterday evening Tadgh McNally/The Journal

'We were robbed': Eamon Ryan lashes Academy over Banshees of Inisherin Oscar snub

Ryan singled out actress Kerry Condon for praise for her performance in the fim.

Tadgh McNally reports from Beijing:

At the Irish Embassy in Beijing yesterday evening, Eamon Ryan declared that Ireland had been robbed at the 2023 Academy Awards.

The Green Party leader was speaking at the Embassy ahead of a screening of The Banshees of Inisherin, Martin McDonagh’s latest film set on an island off the west coast of Ireland in the last days of the Civil War.

“I’ve one thing to say: this film was nominated for nine Oscars. We were robbed! We didn’t win one,” Ryan told the gathered audience at the Embassy, with outbursts of laughter.

Audience members at the Embassy included guests from the Chinese film industry.

Ryan, who is in Beijing as part of his St Patrick’s Day programme of events, told the gathered audience that Kerry Condon had deserved the win for Best Supporting Actress, while praising the acting chops of Jenny the donkey.

He joked: “Would they not have made the category Best Supporting Donkey?”

The film itself was highly nominated at this year’s Oscars, with nominations for Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Barry Keoghan and Condon, alongside nominations for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.

However, it lost out to Everything Everywhere All At Once, which scooped seven awards on the night, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Michelle Yeoh’s lead performance.

“Something called Everything Everywhere All At Once scooped the awards,” Ryan said.

“That’s what the Atlantic Way is: everything everywhere in the once place!”

Ireland’s Ambassador to China Ann Derwin also praised Condon for her performance as Siobhan in the film, while also mentioning the “spectacular natural scenery” of the Aran Islands off the coast of Galway.

Beijing visit

Ryan is currently in Beijing as part of the annual St Patrick’s Day programme, having already visited Shanghai and Hong Kong earlier this week.

As part of his visit to Beijing, Ryan is meeting with Chinese Ecology and Environment Minister Huang Runqiu to discuss energy and climate.

Speaking to The Journal ahead of the meeting, Ryan said that he hoped to improve Ireland’s cooperation with China on renewable energy.

“This isn’t a zero sum game, we can gain off each other,” Ryan said.

When asked about how China had permitted two new coal power plants a month in 2022, Ryan said that this will have to change to meet global climate targets.

“I think that will change, I think it will have to change to meet the climate targets that we’re all bought into,” Ryan said.

“While coal plants have increased, the actual scaling up of solar and wind is a multiple of that.

“I’ll be talking in meetings later on today with various people involved in the energy industry here and that’s what I’ll be saying. I think the future is in renewables and not in coal.”

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