Irish actor thanks British hospitals for 'looking after our women in their time of need' during BAFTA speech

Winner of Best Supporting Actor Brían F. O'Byrne.
By Sally Gorman
Digital Journalist

Irish actor Brían F. O'Byrne thanked British hospitals for "looking after our women in their time of need" during his winner's speech at the BAFTAs last night, writes Sally Gorman.

Sporting a Tá badge, the Cavan man picked up the award for Best Supporting Actor in the ITV series Little Boy Blue - a drama about the murder of Liverpool schoolboy Rhys Jones.

O'Byrne played Rhys' father Steve in the four-part drama and took the opportunity to thank the boy's parents and dedicate his BAFTA in memory of the 11-year-old, who was gunned down on his way home from football training in 2007.

He said:

It's kind of difficult to get an award, to play somebody who is living and who is at home tonight, like the nights of the last 10 years, suffering grief at the loss of their child.

"I would like to dedicate this to your young child Rhys, who was tragically lost."

11-year-old Rhys Jones was gunned down from his way home from football training in 2007 in Liverpool.

He went on to thank the city of Liverpool for embracing the story before expressing his views on Ireland's upcoming abortion referendum.

Brían commended the staff at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital for providing healthcare to Irish citizens who travel there, "in distress, daily."

He said:

Just at the end, as well, on a personal thing – I’d like to thank the staff at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital for looking after my fellow Irish citizens, who come there in distress, daily. Thank you Britain for looking after our women in their time of need.

The speech was quick to gather social media attention.

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