Gabriel Byrne appointed cultural envoy


Gabriel Byrne has been appointed as Cultural Ambassador for Ireland, Taoiseach Brian Cowen announced in Washington this evening.

The Dublin-born actor will work closely with the Government and artistic bodies to develop "an artistic vision" that is inclusive of the Irish diaspora throughout the world.

His role will include the creation of a programme of art, ideas, debate and reflection to help foster a renewed cultural relationship between Ireland and America.

“Gabriel Byrne is an internationally renowned, award-winning actor and is already well established as one of Ireland’s great ambassadors through his work in film and theatre, as well as his endeavors behind the scenes in supporting and promoting Irish artists”, Mr Cowen said.

The Taoiseach said the appointment recognises the "worldwide importance" of Ireland’s culture and its "profound connection" to our economy, which he said was one of the "major conclusions" of the Global Irish Economic Forum at Farmleigh.

The Taoiseach also announced that Culture Ireland will organise a season of Irish arts in the United States in 2011 with the aim of celebrating the Irish creative imagination, showcasing world-class Irish artists and companies, and reinvesting in our unique cultural relationship with America.

The programme will include events in a range of key cities including New York, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and will run through 2011.