The Leonard Lopate Show: Impressions of 9/11: Gabriel Byrne

From the show’s website posting dated September 9: All this week we’ve brought you impressions of 9/11 from people we’ve spoken to over the past year. Our last installment in this series is from renowned actor Gabriel Byrne. Leonard spoke with him in May and after the show the staff asked him to reflect on the events 10 years ago.

“Immediately America became electrified with passionate political debate–and fear, because America had never been invaded and had never countenanced the notion of being invaded and it was invaded and found to be extrememly vulnerable. America was weaned on the myths of cowboy films and, basically, a savvy politician came in and said “I’m Gary Cooper and they’re the bad guys and all those people out there are bad guys and we’re the good guys.” The problem still is that Americans need to be, we all need to be, more educated about the world we live in and how it’s structured. How the city has changed? Subliminally, denial comes in: it could happen again, it will happen again, it won’t today, but it might, and you never know. A generation of children grew up in fear and that fear was almost palpable, that fear that was not there in 1988. I lived in Brooklyn at the time and the Promenade and if ever a landscape could be said to be haunted by the absence of buildings, New York is haunted by the absence of the Trade Towers, because when you look at that skyline there from Brooklyn, or indeed from vantage points downtown, the ghosts of those buildings are still there.”

Guests of the Nation

Introduced By Gabriel Byrne
Thursday, September 22 7:00pm
at Alice Tully Hall, Starr Theater
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York, NY

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and Lewis B. Culliman Center and the Film Society of Lincoln Center present:

Music composed by Niall Byrne
Live orchestral accompaniment by Ireland’s RTÉ Concert Orchestra

This special screening of the pivotal silent Irish feature film Guests of the Nation (1935), directed by Denis Johnston, and preserved and restored by the IFI Irish Film Archive, will be presented with the world premiere of Niall Byrne’s new orchestral score. The film, based on Frank O’Connor’s short story of friendship between British soldiers and their IRA captors, is a moving anti-war film, which features early film performances from Cyril Cusack and Barry Fitzgerald. The film is widely regarded as one of the most significant and cinematically successful films of the Irish silent film canon.

Cyril or Barry?

Irish American Writers and Artists present: The 2011 Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award

From the IAW&A website:

Honoring The Irish Repertory Theater Co-Directors, Ciarán O’Reilly & Charlotte Moore

Register here for tickets to the Third Annual Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award Cocktail Reception honoring The Irish Repetory Theatre with a presentation by Gabriel Byrne.

Gabriel Byrne will present the award and Malachy McCourt will be hosting the event.

Monday, October 17, 2011, from 6:00 to 10:00 pm, at the Manhattan Club (upstairs at Rosie O’Grady’s), 800 7th Ave. (at W. 52nd St.) in New York City, of course!

Rumor Mill

Barry Egan/ Good Rumors [article is often not available when the URL is clicked, so this link is deleted now]

The rumour was that it was John and Moya’s nuptial knees-up. But in fact they married 25 years ago in London. The incontrovertible truth is, however, that it was John’s little brother Gerry McColgan who was celebrating his marriage. Gerry used to be a major player in the Irish television world. Hence, Irish movie star Gabriel Byrne was a guest at the wedding dinner in Howth. (Gerry would have had Gabriel on his programme, once upon a long time ago, The Irish In Hollywood.) There were 100 guests at the evening dinner in Charlie Smith’s famous restaurant, which overlooks the sea. Moya, John, the bride and groom and their guests enjoyed the celebrations way past midnight.

Indeed, Gabriel Byrne has been back to the restaurant twice since. No sign of him tying the knot, though.


  1. I just listened to Gabriel speak about 9/11 and what it did to America. And since I am a Norwegian I must think about July 22.nd 2011 and what it did to Norway.
    I agree so very much with Gabriel in that what we need is to be more educated about the world we live in. We do not need fear, but we need to learn to understand, discuss and to prevent evil things. We need words, not weapons. We need more love, not hate.

  2. Bravo Nora Bravo!

  3. Nora, you are so right. We need to use this as a chance to think about the future, what we understand, what we don’t understand, and why. We owe it to the past and to the future. As he says: “the ghosts of those buildings are still there.”

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