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From The Riordans to Hollywood: Gabriel Byrne to receive IFTA Lifetime Achievement Award

Byrne’s long career has seen him become one of Ireland’s most-loved actors.


ONE OF IRELAND’S most recognisable film actors will be given a Lifetime Achievement Award at next month’s IFTA Awards.

Gabriel Byrne will be presented with the honour by President Michael D Higgins, himself a former recipient, at the ceremony on 15 February.

Byrne said yesterday that he is “deeply honoured” to be accepting the award.

Dublin-born Byrne first cut his teeth as an actor in the theatre scene in his hometown, appearing on the stage in the Focus Theatre and the Abbey Theatre.

It was his role as Pat Barry in The Riordans that first had him on Irish TV screens and then afterwards in Bracken, the spin-off show that he fronted.

Thereafter, Byrne had a hugely successful Hollywood film career and starred in a number significant roles, notably in the Coen Brothers’ Miller’s Crossing and as one of the primary characters in The Usual Suspects.

Byrne later won a Golden Globe Award for his role as TV drama series In Treatment.

As well as his success, Byrne has also been outspoken in outlining his views about problems in his native Ireland and his adopted home in the US.

Over the past number of years he has spoken out about the state of the Irish health service, sexual harassment in 1970s Ireland and 2013 initiative The Gathering, which he called “a scam”.

In announcing the Lifetime Achievement Award, IFTA’s chief executive Áine Moriarty said Byrne has “paved the way” for Irish film actors who followed him and has “explored and pushed the boundaries in storytelling”.

Read: Trailer Watch: Which movie should you go see this weekend? >

Read: Host Deirdre O’Kane ‘up for’ actresses wearing black against sexism at this year’s IFTAs >

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Rónán Duffy

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