“Every day is a proud day to be Irish, but today more so than usual!”

Ireland secured not one, but two Oscars last night! Best Actress went to Brie Larson for her role in Room, directed by Dubliner Lenny Abrahamson, written by Irish-Canadian writer Emma Donoghue. Best Short Film went to Stutterer, written, directed, and edited by Irish filmmaker Ben Cleary. Stutterer is a powerfully emotive piece, telling the story of a typographer with a cruel speech impediment but an eloquent inner voice who learns to face his greatest fear. Cleary gave a rousing acceptance speech, saying “Every day is a a proud day to be Irish, but today more so than usual… Slainte!”.

Lenny Abrahamson and Ben Cleary

This year was a trailblazing year for Irish films, with a whopping nine nominations for Irish projects. Room and Brooklyn were both recognised in the category for Best Picture, Abrahamson was nominated for Best Director, and Donoghue for Best Adapted Screenplay, for which Nick Hornby was also in the running for Brooklyn. Saoirse Ronan was up for Best Actress for her role in Brooklyn, dazzling at the event in emerald green, while Michael Fassbender was nominated for Best Actor for Steve Jobs.

Saoirse Ronan Oscars

President Michael D. Higgins praised the recognition Irish work earned at the Oscars, saying the high number of nominations was a “tribute to the Irish film industry” and that “it is now accepted internationally that Ireland has an accomplished film industry, providing a great return from the investment in film –  made over recent decades – through highly skilled jobs and an enhanced international reputation”.