The Year of Irish Arts in America was a resounding success and Imagine Ireland has put the finishing touches on the end of this remarkable experiment with their final newsletter [This newsletter is no longer available on the Internet]. They thank Gabriel Byrne for his service as Cultural Ambassador for Ireland and they also recap some of the highlights of this past year of creativity and cultural sharing, including a focus on Gabriel’s curation of the Irish film festival at MOMA back in May. An excerpt:

Imagine Ireland, Culture Ireland’s year of Irish arts in America in 2011, supported the production of over five hundred events in a year-long celebration of Irish creativity and artistic talent.

Over 1,000 Irish theatre-makers, musicians, singers, writers, dancers, visual artists, film-makers and more, presented their work to audiences from Alabama to Wyoming, in venues from Walt Disney Hall to Lincoln Center, crossing over forty states on a journey of culture shared with many hundreds of thousands of US audience members.

Gabriel Byrne, Cultural Ambassador for Ireland, was at the forefront of Imagine Ireland, and we extend huge gratitude to him for his tireless work and to Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan TD, for his continued championing of Irish arts in America and around the world.

Over at the Imagine Ireland website, you will be referred on to the Culture Ireland website for future activities. A parting gift from Imagine Ireland, however, is this wonderfully large picture of Gabriel Byrne, by photographer Jeff Lipsky, which is offered here as a reminder of the great service Gabriel performed for his country as its first Cultural Ambassador. Kudos to you, Mr. Byrne!

We are feeling selfish and relieved, however, that he has headed back, with brio, to the big screen, where he has been sorely missed!

Caution: contents are grand in scale and can cause palpitations when downloaded


  1. How fitting that Gabriel is the Cultural Ambassador for Ireland! [He looked so divine in that picture too, swoon]

    I checked out the Imagine Ireland website and looks like they have events in MN as well, I have to see if I can go to any of them this coming year. I’ve bookmarked the page, thanks Stella!

    • Ruth, Gabriel has apparently stepped down as Ambassador and the Imagine Ireland project of 2011 has come to an end, but there is still lots going on and Culture Ireland is supporting more events in the US in the coming years. We are sad to see Mr. Byrne depart the ambassadorship, but we are also glad because now he is making films and TV series and we will get to see more of him ACTING on the big and little screens! :-)

      Oh, and isn’t that Jeff Lipsky pic amazing? Swoon indeed!

  2. Thank you so much for posting this so beautiful shot!!

    • Diane, you are most welcome! It is important to remain seated when viewing something so swoon-worthy. Just a quick safety reminder. :-)

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