Tributes paid to ‘supremely talented’ Cork actor Cillian Murphy after Golden Globe win

Murphy’s former school teachers and Tánaiste Micheál Martin lead praise for Irish actors win for role in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer

Tributes have been paid to actor Cillian Murphy in his native Cork after he secured a Golden Globe win overnight for his role in the biographical thriller Oppenheimer.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin posted on X that it was a “richly deserved award” for a “supremely talented actor”.

“A superb performance by Cillian in a year of some incredible Irish screen performances.”

Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Kieran McCarthy, also offered his congratulations to 47-year-old Murphy following his win in the Best Male Actor Motion Picture – Drama category.


“[Cillian] is such a talented actor but also such a hard grafter from community theatre to Hollywood movies, a very well deserved award.”

He said he hoped that Murphy would “enjoy the awards season” where many more accolades are expected to come his way for his performance as the American theoretical physicist, J Robert Oppenheimer.

Murphy is a past pupil of Presentation Brothers College in the Mardyke in Cork City. Principal of the school, David Barry, says that they are very pleased to see their past pupil excel on the world stage.

“We are delighted for Cillian and his family today. I spoke to his mentor and his former English teacher Billy Wall this morning and Billy reminisced about the great times he had in school with Cillian.

He taught Cillian English and Cillian really “got” English in terms of poetry and drama and novels etc. Wall said that not many boys would have been able to get in to the in-depth levels that he did but Mr Murphy was very good at it.

Wall also told Cork’s RedFM that Billy Wall had introduced Cillian to drama.

“There was a drama module developed by Liz Kirwan in the school in transition year. They brought in [theatre director] Pat Kiernan from Corcadorca so Cillian got involved in that in transition year and his talent could be seen from a very early stage. [Murphy] was also involved in a band here in the school. I think they were called The Sons of Mr Green Genes. They did lunchtime concerts.”

Meanwhile, local Green Party Councillor Dan Boyle said that he was “delighted” for the actor.

“What a journey he has had since Disco Pigs. I had the privilege of being at that first performance. [It was] obvious then that this was a special talent.”

Raised in Ballintemple in Cork City, Murphy had early stage success with independent theatre company Corcadorca. His first significant film role was in 2002 in 28 Days Later, directed by Danny Boyle.

He has starred in six films directed by Christopher Nolan including Oppenheimer, Batman Begins, The Dark Night and Inception. Murphy has also played the lead role of Tommy Shelby in the hugely popular TV show Peaky Blinders.

Murphy, his artist wife Yvonne McGuinness and their two children now live in Dublin having previously been based in London. The family moved back to Ireland in 2015.

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