Local boy makes good on hospice pledge as 'Lincoln' premiere to raise over €150,000


It’s shaping up to be a ‘hell of a weekend’ as Daniel Day-Lewis brings stars to Dublin

When Daniel Day-Lewis won his first Oscar in 1990 for My Left Foot, he famously remarked as he accepted the little statuette, “You’ve just provided me with the makings of a hell of a weekend in Dublin”.

This week, it’s Day-Lewis himself – hotly tipped for his third Oscar – who is providing the makings of a hell of a weekend in the capital. On Sunday, he will attend the premiere of Lincoln at the Savoy, alongside his superstar director in that movie, Steven Spielberg, and 900 members of the public, who have paid €160 a head to attend the movie, dinner and auction.

Afterwards, everyone will move to the Burlington for dinner and an auction of several items connected with Lincoln. Proceeds from the charity premiere and auction will go to the Wicklow Hospice building fund, which has raised €2.5 million to date of the €3 million plus needed for the 12-bed hospice.

Wicklow resident Evanne Cahill is sitting in the foyer of what she refers to as “the Burlo”. She is on the hospice committee and, in 2009, wrote to Day-Lewis, who lives part of the year in Wicklow, to ask if he would consider being a patron.

Not only did he agree and receive regular updates on progress during meetings in Hunter’s Hotel in Wicklow, a year ago he told her he was shooting a new movie and “if it was any good”, he would offer the Irish premiere as a fundraiser. “The last two months have been mad,” she says happily.

There are also invited guests, including Bono and The Edge, Sinéad O’Connor, Shane McGowan, Chris de Burgh, Rosanna Davison and the Three Tenors. “We could have seated 1,000, but we wanted everyone to have a good view.”

Cahill walks around the Burlington’s vast ballroom, currently bare and distinctly chilly. By Sunday, the heating will be on and the room and tables decked out in a black-and-gold theme.

Guests will tuck into crab and champ tian, with roasted red-pepper dressing; either roast beef with roasted root vegetables, horseradish duchess potato, green beans and a red wine jus, or sea bass with potato and crab croquette, green beans and a lemon butter sauce. They will finish with a “chocolate teardrop” filled with vanilla cream.

Auction items include three props from the movie – Lincoln’s gloves, knife and toy soldiers. Bidding will take place throughout dinner. “I’m sure Dan and Steve will say a few words,” says Cahill.

She has “no clue” what might be raised, but with Day-Lewis having secured a Best Actor Oscar nomination for Lincoln, they are attracting international attention. Charity dinners usually mean promotional gift bags so what can guests expect in theirs? “I’m not sure,” Cahill says, “but we’ll definitely be giving everyone copies of the Wicklow Hospice Newsletter.”

International bidders can bid via email until 7pm on Sunday. See Wicklowhospice.ie