Dublin star of the stage and screen Liam Cunningham has been selected by St. Patrick’s Festival to lead this year’s Festival Parade which will wind its way through the streets of the capital from 12 noon on March 17th. The East Wall native was chosen in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Irish acting both at home and internationally.
Cunningham, one of Ireland’s most recognisable actors, is probably best known for his starring role as Davos Seaworth in HBO epic fantasy series Game of Thrones which has garnered a millions of fans across the world. His debut film role was in Irish classic Into The West where he played a police officer and since then he has gone on to star in movies such as War of the Buttons, Falling for a Dancer, The Wind That Shakes the Barley,Clash of the Titans, The Guard and Hunger. His accomplishments on the small screen include Doctor Who, Northanger Abbey, Merlin and Titanic: Blood and Steel.
His role as Father Dominic Moran in Hunger saw him nominated for the London Film Critics’ Circle Award and the British Independent Film Award; this February he won an Irish Film & Television Award for his role in Game of Thrones and has previously won two Best Supporting Actor IFTAs for his roles in The Wind That Shakes the Barley and Hunger; and shared a BAFTA with Michael Fassbender for their crime-drama short film Pitch Black Heist. He has also been nominated alongside his Game of Thrones cast-members for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
Cunningham joins the illustrious ranks of previous Grand Marshals such as Annalise Murphy Joanne O’Riordan, Katie Taylor, Ronnie Drew, Mícheál ó Muircheartaigh and Packie Bonner to name but a few.
Ardmhéara Bhaile Átha Cliath / Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mícheál Mac Donncha said “I would like to congratulate Liam on the honour of being selected as the 2018 Grand Marshal and wish him every enjoyment leading the Festival Parade. He is a fantastic ambassador for Irish acting who I’m sure many young people here look up to and hope to emulate his success.”
On receiving the honour of Grand Marshal, Liam said “I have always been a proud Irishman and Dubliner and do my best to represent my country and city when I am abroad working. It’s a huge honour to be invited back to lead the parade on our national holiday. I’m really looking forward to being a part of it.”
A firm highlight of the celebrations, the Festival Parade taking place at 12 noon on March 17th, will weave its way through the heart of the capital city in a flourish of colour and flair. Community groups and pageant companies from all over Ireland will come together to celebrate the parade theme Home Is Where the Heart Is through a variety of performances and street theatre. This year will also see over 2,000 band members from far and wide deliver dazzling rhythms and uplifting music that will reverberate throughout the city’s streets.
Susan Kirby, St. Patrick’s Festival CEO commented “We’re thrilled to announce Liam as the the Grand Marshal for the 2018 St. Patrick’s Festival Parade. He represents our country wonderfully on the world stage and with the theme for this year’s Festival being Home, it’s great to welcome him back to his home city to participate with us.”
Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Festivals, Ciara Sugrue said: “Fáilte Ireland continues to invest significantly in the St Patrick’s Festival, an event which not only attracts tens of thousands of international visitors but also showcases Ireland as a fantastic tourist destination to global media. We are delighted to hear that Liam Cunningham has been selected as this year’s Grand Marshal and we wish him all the best on the day. A Dublin native with an outstanding acting career both nationally and internationally, Liam will be a great representative of the Festival’s artistic spirit and a well-known face to the many overseas spectators attending on the day.”
Home is the theme of this year’s Festival, which is funded by Fáilte Ireland, Dublin City Council and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht