Historic Irish Triumph at Oscars

Cillian Murphy wins Oscar for Best actor

Best Actor: Cillian Murphy. Credit: Harald Krichel/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0

In a historic moment for Ireland, Cillian Murphy clinched the 2024 Oscar for Best Actor, the first-ever Irish-born actor to win an Academy Award.

The awards took place on Sunday, March 10, at the prestigious Dolby Theatre. Murphy, a Cork man, etched his name into history as the inaugural Irish-born actor to seize an Academy Award.

His victory surpasses Daniel Day-Lewis’s achievements, who, despite being a three-time Oscar winner and Irish citizen, was born in England.

A milestone for Irish cinema

In 2023, Ireland just missed out when Colin Farrell was beaten to the title by Brendan Fraser for the Best Actor trophy.

This year, battling against notable talents such as Paul Giamatti from ‘The Holdovers,’ Bradley Cooper for ‘Maestro,’ Colman Domingo of ‘Rustin,’ and Jeffrey Wright in ‘American Fiction,’ Murphy emerged victorious for his portrayal of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the American physicist.

Dressed in a tuxedo, Murphy was accompanied by his wife, Yvonne McGuinness, and their sons, Malachy and Aran. His speech revealed his emotions. ‘I’m a little overwhelmed,’ he began.

‘Thank you to the Academy. Chris Nolan and Emma Thomas it’s been the wildest, most wildly, most exhilarating, most creatively satisfying journey you’ve taken me on over the last 20 years… I owe you more than I can say.

‘Every single crew member, every single cast member on Oppenheimer, you guys carried me through. All my fellow nominees I remain in awe of you guys. I want to thank my incredible team… Yvonne McGuinness my partner in life and art, my two boys Malachy and Aran, who are sitting up there, I love you so much,’ he said.

Celebrating peace and creativity

Murphy further stated, ‘I’m a very proud Irish man standing up here tonight. We made a film about the man who created the atomic bomb, for better or for worse we’re all living in Oppenheimer’s world.

‘I would really like to dedicate this to the peacemakers everywhere.’ Paying homage to his roots he concluded his speech with ‘Go raibh maith agat,’ Irish Gaelic for ‘Thank you.’

Echoes of acclaim resonated, with one admirer proclaiming, ‘Cillian Murphy Oscar winner Viva La Ireland.’ Another lauded, ‘What an actor, what a performance, what an Irishman.’

‘Oppenheimer’ was the night’s biggest winner, securing seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director for Christopher Nolan, Best Actor for Murphy, Supporting Actor for Robert Downey Jr, Cinematography for Hoyte Van Hoytema, Original Score for Ludwig Goransson, and Editing for Jennifer Lame.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.