Honorary degree for Irish star

Irish movie star Gabriel Byrne is to be awarded with an honorary degree today by National University of Ireland (NUI), Galway.

He will be conferred with a Doctor of Arts as part of the winter graduation ceremony for more than 800 students.

Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, president of NUI Galway, said Byrne had given outstanding contribution to Irish and international film.

“We in NUI Galway are delighted to honour Gabriel Byrne as an outstanding Irish actor, who is respected internationally as a master of his craft.

“We’re especially pleased that on the day we graduate the first students from new and innovative programmes in film and digital media, that we are honoured by the presence of Gabriel Byrne.”

Byrne’s acting career began in the Focus Theatre before joining London’s Royal Court Theatre in 1979 and his film debut came in John Boorman’s 1981 Arthurian epic, 'Excalibur'.

He has worked with some of cinema’s leading directors including the Coen Brothers, Ken Loach, David Cronenberg and Bryan Singer.

Byrne has starred in 35 feature films, including 'The Usual Suspects', 'Stigmata' and 'Into the West', as well as producing three pictures and writing two.

In November 2004 Gabriel Byrne was appointed a UNICEF Ireland Ambassador.

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