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The Byrne-ing News, May 2010 Edition

The Cultural Ambassador for Ireland has been popping up in all sorts of interesting places in the past few weeks, both in the US and in Dublin. Galas and fundraisers are part and parcel of his life now and actually always have been. These recent appearances are just like the movies: All Music! All Dancing! All Archeology! Well, pretty exciting, anyway. And, as you know, in the midst of this storm of activity, he celebrated a milestone birthday on May 12. Read on.

The Archeologist

We forget that this was one of the areas of study Mr. Byrne majored in during his undergraduate years. Armed with this (perhaps somewhat rusty) knowledge, he attended the second annual Ancient Gala on Wednesday, April 28, at Guastavinos in New York City, hosted by the Boston-based Archaeological Institute of America. AIA Executive Director Teresa Keller welcomed Jordan royalty and honorary chairs HRH Princess Dana Firas and HRH Prince Zeid Al-Hussein, authors Raymond Khoury and Julie Powell, and our favorite cultural ambassador. The theme was Peru and, judging from the pictures, it was indeed an exotic evening, including a Peruvian Feast. Read the official press release and enjoy the pics, especially noting the beautiful, if somewhat precarious, flowers.

The rain forest

Is it leaning? I think it’s leaning…

An elegant setting for an ancient evening

Peru is fascinating. I did not realize a Peruvian Feast involved chicken!
And speaking of Egypt, did you know the Irish originated there? No? Well…

The Music Lover

Gabriel’s love of music (we know he plays the accordion, and not badly) must have made the American Ireland Fund New York Gala a real treat. Bono was the honoree and and he spoke at length about the importance of music education and Ireland’s pressing need to support it. Another musical great, President Bill Clinton, also waxed rhapsodic (in his case, the saxophone was key) and the Mayor of New York seemed musically inclined as well.

U2’s Bono joined President Clinton, Mayor Bloomberg and 1,300 members of the Irish-American business, political and arts communities at the American Ireland Fund 35th Anniversary New York Gala at the Lincoln Center Thursday [May 6, 2010] to raise $3 million for Irish and Irish-American projects. Despite the economic downturn on both sides of the Atlantic, this year’s special anniversary gala – one of the largest annual events of its kind among the global Irish Diaspora – surpassed The American Ireland Fund’s target of $2.5 million.

Bono’s speech was very funny, from all accounts, and he is obviously committed to increasing support for music education in Ireland, the focus of his comments.

The Two B’s.

This might be the part in Bono’s speech in which he imitates Einstein. Not kidding!

What’s the little red flower all about, Mr. Byrne?

The Ambassador

The (So-So) Dancer Spends the Day in Dublin

Mr. Byrne attended the world premiere of the dance Day, performed by Jean Butler (of Riverdance) at the Dublin Dance Festival on Wednesday, May 19.

Dublin Dance Festival and the Abbey Theatre are delighted to co-present Jean Butler in an engaging new work by Tere O’Connor. Jean asked Tere to create this solo for her, one which departs from her long history and training in Irish Dance. Entitled DAY, the piece explores the ways we come to know a person beyond the narrative of his/her life. It questions how much we can really know someone and if our projections constitute our knowing more than the actual truth.

Sounds a tad intellectual for a dance, but just the thing for Mr. Byrne. More information about the premiere is here and you can also read about the rest of the festival from links on that page.

A trifle tired in these very tiny pics, perhaps,
but we chalk it up to a very busy schedule with a hint of jet lag.

The Harbinger of Summer?

This just in: Spring had definitely sprung in most of the USA, and summer in a few parts, attributable to some degree, we like to think, to Mr. Byrne (check out his effect on all those flowers at the AIA gala!) and now Byrneholics in Europe report that there was a noticeable increase in the temp there once Gabriel made it to Ireland. He seems to have brought summer with him!

Don’t worry, ladies. Flowers just seem to spontaneously bloom in my presence.

The Actor

Perrier’s Bounty

A Dublin bad boy proves his essential goodness under the worst possible circumstances in Perrier’s Bounty, a splendidly plotted if thematically unsurprising comedy. The pleasure comes not from fresh insights, but from a droll script and expertly timed performances. (from a review of the film at NPR)

The incredible cast includes Brendan Gleeson, Cillian Murphy, Liam Cunningham, and Jim Broadbent. Gabriel provides voice only in this film, playing the Grim Reaper:

The Reaper never appears, though he offers salty musings from the beyond in the voice of Gabriel Byrne.

Read the NPR review for more info on this intriguing film.

We love salty musings from Gabriel Byrne, of course, even if we cannot see him musing on the screen. The film is making its way through the festival circuit now.

2:22

From the folks who brought you Played, here is a crime thriller involving a heist that should happen clean and fast but, guess what? It doesn’t.

The best laid plans of slugs and thugs can go dead wrong, and they do in this brutal heist movie. Four career criminals decide to knock off a boutique hotel at exactly 2:22 a.m. on New Year’s Eve. They figure everyone will be drunk or out of it. They figure right, but that’s the crazy factor that explodes on them in this neo “Dog Day Afternoon.”

Check out the rest of the review at The Hollywood Reporter. Gabriel plays Detective Swain, according to the official website. After showing at several festivals, including Cannes 2009 and Toronto 2008, the film will soon be released on both Blu-ray & DVD, with a US release date of August 31 of this year.

LA Premiere in 2008

The Doctor

Last, but certainly not least, word on the street is season 3 of In Treatment goes into production in New York City in June.

We next expect to see the Cultural Ambassador for Ireland at the Picture House in Pelham, New York on June 12, celebrating the 20th anniversary of one of his best films, Miller’s Crossing (see previous Byrneholics reporting on this). In the meantime, we hope Mr. Byrne is holed up somewhere nice, running lines with his new co-stars and preparing for his third turn as Dr. Paul Weston, although it is just as likely that we shall see him out and about carrying the flag for the Irish arts!

Thanks to Byrneholics everywhere for sharing news and pictures of our peripatetic Irishman.

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Help for Haiti–Updated!

Variety notes that Hollywood is supporting relief efforts in Haiti, with telethons involving everyone from George Clooney to Bono and donations in the millions pouring in.

On the East Coast, “Gabriel Byrne, Terry George, and others have organized a “Rebuild Haiti” fundraiser in New York for Thursday night to benefit Concern Worldwide and the Edeyo Foundation.”

Read the article. Kudos to Mr. Byrne, Susan Sarandon, Terry George, Alan Cumming, and everyone who is supporting this event and helping Haiti!

Thanks to Ann for the heads up.

Update: here is more information about the benefit, thanks to Lara!

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Gabriel Byrne Helps Bring Home the Money

Thanks to Lara for the heads up, as usual!

According to IrishCentral.com (December 7, 2009):

The Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs,  Micheál Martin, T.D., today announced a major grant for a landmark Irish project in New York. Minister Martin said that a total of €2.3 million will be provided immediately towards the construction of  the Irish Arts Center in Manhattan…The Minister paid warm tribute to New York City Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Christine Quinn for their exceptional support for the initiative. He also thanked Gabriel Byrne for his support for the Arts Center and for his longstanding work in promoting Irish culture throughout the U.S.

Read the full article.

And today, The New York Times adds:

Over the years, Ireland has provided New York with cultural assets like Liam Neeson, Gabriel Byrne and that sometime visitor Bono. Now the Irish government has made a more numerically quantifiable contribution to the city in the form of a $3.5 million grant that will be used to build a new Irish Arts Center in Manhattan.

Read the full article.

Congratulations to all involved in this long-term and very strategic project! As Christine Quinn of The New York City Council  says about the Irish government:

They understand that having a strong America be with Ireland, both in the south and north, is critical to the future of the country.” She added that the grant was a sign of “how strong the bridge is between the countries, and between Ireland and New York.

IACNYfront

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Spirit of Ireland Gala 2009 on Oct 2

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2009

Honorary Co-Chairs GABRIEL BYRNE and  LIAM NEESON invite you to
IRISH ARTS CENTER SPIRIT OF IRELAND GALA 2009

New York Athletic Club,  180 Central Park South, New York
6:30 pm Cocktails and Silent Auction; 8:00 pm Dinner and Awards Presentation

This is an annual fund-raising event for the Center. Show your support!

More information is available at the official site. And IAC staff are going to try to make time to tweet the event, so check out @IrishArtsCenter on Twitter!

(I would like to attend the Silent Auction, please!–Stella)

gbneeson-20090929postingThe men in charge