Jeremy Irons at the Gradam Cheoil Awards 2015

Jeremy Irons was a presenter at the 2015 Gradam Cheoil Awards at the Cork Opera House in Cork, Ireland on Sunday 22 February 2015.

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Jeremy Irons Takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

Jeremy Irons was nominated to take the Ice Bucket Challenge by Maureen Forrest, of The Hope Foundation. The Ice Bucket Challenge supports awareness and raises funds for ALS and the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association.

He completed the challenge, from the rooftop of Kilcoe Castle. Jeremy has also nominated his neighbour, actor and writer, Rob Heyland; his sister-in-law Niamh Cusack; and his youngest son Max Irons.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

To learn more about The Hope Foundation visit their website.

To support the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA) text 50300 to MND (in Ireland) or visit THIS SITE.

To support the #ALSIceBucketChallenge in the United States click HERE.

Jeremy Irons on ‘Sunday with Miriam’

Miriam O’Callaghan interviewed Jeremy Irons and Lord David Puttnam on Friday 17 January 2014, at the Cork Airport, ahead of the ceremony at which Jeremy Irons was made an Honorary Corkman. The interview aired on Sunday 19 January on RTE Radio 1 on Sunday with Miriam.

Click on the audio player above to listen to the complete interview.

miriam rte jeremy and david puttnam

sunday with miriam photo

sunday with miriam

Sunday with Miriam is also available on iTunes as a free podcast.

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Jeremy Irons Made Honorary Corkman

Jeremy Irons was made an Honorary Corkman, at a luncheon ceremony at the Rochestown Park Hotel. Jeremy received the award from last year’s recipient producer Lord David Puttnam.

Video and an article from – ‘Now I’m an honorary Corkman I am not quite such a blow in’

Video from

RTE Video – Jeremy Irons Made an Honorary Corkman at Cork People of the Year Awards

[Audio] Jeremy Irons Is Honorary Corkman – from

Audio of Jeremy’s reaction to the Honorary Corkman Award from

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Irish Independent – by Ralph Riegel – 17 January 2014
CONSUMMATE English actor, Jeremy Irons (65), admitted he was “absolutely thrilled’ to be made an honorary Irishman.

The Academy Award winning star, who lives in Kilcoe Castle in west Cork with his Dublin-born wife, Sinead Cusack, was made an honorary Corkman as he received the award from fellow west Cork resident, ‘Chariots of Fire’ producer, Lord David Puttnam.

“It is a huge honour and a great pleasure. I am a blow in and I have been a blow in for 35 years. I suppose I will always be a blow in.”

“But at least now that I am an honorary Corkman I am not quite such a blow in. I am hoping that when I am stopped for going slightly over the speed limit the fact that I am an honorary Corkman may help tilt the balance. I am chuffed.”

He said he loves life in Ireland because people treat him as an ordinary person and not as a Hollywood celebrity.

“West Cork is a place where I ground myself. It is a place where I am surrounded by people who accept me for who I am and not for the fame that surrounds me.”

“That is very grounding for a person who works in a profession where you are constantly over-hyped. You know your true value is not the value that some people seem to attach to you.”

The actor has starred in some of the most critically acclaimed films of the past 30 years including ‘Reversal of Fortune’, ‘The Mission’ and ‘Lolita’ as well as blockbusters including ‘Die Hard With A Vengeance’ and ‘Kingdom of Heaven’.

“West Cork (offers) a very honest evaluation. People who live there work when they have to so as to live as they wish. People are much happier to be sitting talking, eating great food of which there is wonderful produce in west Cork and enjoying the wonderful countryside. It is a very special place on God’s earth.”

The star splits his time between west Cork, London and Oxfordshire but he said he hopes to spend even more time in Ireland.

“One of the advantages of being a blow in is that you can blow out every now and then. But I was swimming off (Kilcoe) Castle on Christmas Day and I nearly died with the cold but it was a glorious day. Last summer I thought I had died and gone to heaven in west Cork.”

Mr Irons also vowed to make his first film in Ireland – and said he would love to work on a suitable script for a film dealing with the Great Famine.

“A good script is all it takes. That’s all it ever takes. Movies come from good scripts and not locations. If we find a story which can be told here I will be so happy. But I would like to do a story about the famine. The famine is something that lurks…particularly down in west Cork. It is very much in the (Irish) psyche but has never really been faced because the horrors were too great. I would love to do a story that addresses that and, so to speak, helps lance the boil.”

However, he refused to be drawn on Kerry-born star, Michael Fassbender, and his chances of Academy Award glory next month for his role in ‘Twelve Years as a Slave’.

“I am not allowed to say because I vote (in the Academy). But there are some extraordinary performances this year. It is a very strong year. Michael is a fantastic actor…as another actor looking at him I think he is far too good.”

Corkman of the Year nominee, World Champion athlete Ron Heffernan (35), admitted he had other reasons to be nervous than sharing a stage with Jeremy Irons and Lord Puttnam as his wife, Marian, is expecting a baby within 24 hours.

“I have the overnight bag packed and we’re ready to go at a minute’s notice. But I’ll be driving her to the hospital and not walking because I’ve put on a few kilos over Christmas,” he laughed.

“It has been an incredible few months. There was the gold medal in Russia, then there was the Corkman of the Year nomination and now Marian is due any day now. I just can’t believe all that has happened.”

Irish Independent

Jeremy Irons at A Taste of West Cork Food Festival

Jeremy Irons was in West Cork on Friday 6 September and Saturday 7 September for the Belling Food Awards, as part of A Taste of West Cork Food Festival, which runs from 6-15 September 2013.

He read Seamus Heaney’s poem “Digging”.

On Friday night, he dined at Sage Restaurant in Midleton.

Photo via @waterman_jon on Twitter

Photo via @waterman_jon on Twitter

Photo via @KevinAherneChef on Twitter

Photo via @KevinAherneChef on Twitter

Jeremy Irons, Helen Collins, John Field and Sinead Cusack at the Belling Forum at the West Cork Hotel on Saturday afternoon. Photo via A Taste of West Cork on Facebook

Jeremy Irons, Helen Collins, John Field and Sinead Cusack at the Belling Forum at the West Cork Hotel on Saturday afternoon. Photo via A Taste of West Cork on Facebook

David Puttnam and Jeremy Irons, at the Bellings Dinner. Photo via A Taste of West Cork on Facebook

David Puttnam and Jeremy Irons, at the Bellings Dinner. Photo via A Taste of West Cork on Facebook

Jeremy Irons and Micheal Burke

Jeremy Irons and Micheal Burke

Information from


West Cork is viewed as an authentic place, very beautiful, largely unspoilt, with a diverse, eclectic and innovative population. These are among the “magic” ingredients that make up the experience that is West Cork.

The region is seen both nationally and internationally as a very desirable place both to live in and to visit where one would expect to experience a genuine way of life, a clean and magnificent environment, the best of food, the best of art and crafts, and a resourceful intelligent and inventive people well accustomed to multitasking.

It is argued that the present and future development of West Cork lies in the business of:
1. Growing and food production (both land and sea)
2. Delivery of education
3. Tourism
4. High Tech

All of those who live in West Cork or visit regularly can readily see the destructive hand of recession and the despair of bank debt and emigration. It is time to fight back!

As part of the Taste of West Cork Festival, the Belling Food Awards Committee will host a Forum in the West Cork Hotel on Saturday 07 September at 2 p m. entitled “Joining Together – how to achieve universal recognition for the West Cork Region”. This initiative will be a ‘think tank’ from which will be compiled a five year action plan (with the emphasis on action!) supported and promoted by A Taste of West Cork, The Belling Awards Committee and its various partners going forward. The Forum will be addressed by 15 representative speakers who will present each of their proposals in a strict time frame of five minutes each.
The Forum will then be open to all attendees for further discussion.

Speakers at the Forum will include:

Professor Peter Jones of UCC, Lord David Puttnam, Mr Eoin McGonigal, Chairman of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Valerie Kingston of Glenilen Farm, Food Writer Joe McNamee of the Irish Examiner, Des O’Dowd of Inchydoney Hotel, Madeline McKeever of Brown Envelope Seeds, Jean Perry of Glebe Gardens, Giana Ferguson of Gubbeen Farm, Avril Allshire of Caherbeg Free-range Pork, Alison Ospina of the Craft Council, Guy Watson of Riverford Farm, a representative of Shellfish de la Mer and a representative of Cork County Council. The Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney is expected along also with some surprise guests. A number of public representatives will be in the audience to include all our local TDs and the MD of Supervalu/Centra Martin Kelleher. It is hoped that there will be a rigorous discussion as to how West Cork will go forward to gain universal recognition. The Conference will be recorded, the ideas collected and a plan put in place to implement the development of this blueprint for West Cork. or email

Jeremy Irons Talks Sailing in Irish Examiner

West Cork cruising out of its league

Jeremy Irons's boat - Willing Lass

Jeremy Irons’s boat – Willing Lass

Sunday, August 11, 2013

IT MIGHT seem bit of paradox, but the best way to see Ireland’s raw, elemental natural beauty is to leave the place behind you, in your wake.

By Tommy Barker

You don’t have to go far, mind, to see sheer splendour: a half a mile, a few miles, or in nautical terms, a league or two off the island’s coastline will do in many cases, opening up a fresh, new, waterborne perspective — new horizons, literally.

World traveller, actor and sailing fanatic Jeremy Irons has rightly described his home patch of water along the West Cork coast as “a promised land for leisure sailors”, raving about the amazing scenery, the setting and most often, the solitude.

And, Irons calls for more shore-based supports to build marine activity and visitors, such as marinas and berths to fill in the gaps on the shoreline. Other sailors and old salts note that the country’s dramatic west coast and islands also need marinas to lure and shelter sailors from near and far.

For such a small country, we have unfathomable riches of coastline, especially if you follow every indent of shoreline, visit every cove, peek in a cave, land on an island, balm on beach, whale or birdwatch, or scale a small cliff or promontory upon landing.

As a nation though, we are only very slowly rediscovering our maritime heritage: you can tell from the surfboards and kayaks on roof-racks, and from dinghies and RIBs on trailers behind family cars or jeeps that we’re taking to the rivers, lakes, estuaries and ocean waves in ever-increasing numbers.

Cork’s Ocean to City event has brought hundreds of previous landlubbers to the Lee, and it’s a racing certainty that the recently-discovered love of being afloat will in turn bring people now from the city to the oceans, in return.

Many of these fast-growing, burgeoning and thrilling sports literally just skim the surface of possibilities: there’s a way to go further and deeper. It’s cruising. And it doesn’t just have to be for the elite, or the wealthy.

Essentially, cruising (stop sniggering at the back!) is travelling by boat, either by motor or sail, and the term generally refers to trips lasting several days at least — during which you can cover lots of ground by water, if you get the drift. Sailors have the option of using marinas and established ports bringing trade to bars, shops and restaurants, or just dropping anchor at will at a beauty spot, or a mix of both.

Cruising has long been popular in Ireland, gathering pace in the 1960s, even more so in the noughties, and now is having a bit of a halcyon era, reckons Gail McAllister of the Irish Sail Association, who was cruise co-ordinator for the Gathering Cruise 2013.

That two-week Gathering event unfortunately hit the news for all the wrong reasons as the Dutch Tall Ship and training vessel the four-master Astrid hit the rocks outside Oysterhaven.

Fortunately, all 30 aboard the Astrid were rescued in jig-time, thanks to super-prompt and reassuring attendance by Kinsale and Courtmacsherry RNLI and other emergency services: the cruise for the other 50 boats was, however, incident free, and largely blessed with great weather too.

At any one time, about 80% of the cruising craft along our scenic shores will be Irish-owned and based, and visitors from further afield typically are British, or French, while Germans sailors who come here tend to charter boats from Irish ports, says the ISA’s Gail McAllister who is based in Adrigole in West Cork.

She said the event had put solid legacy foundations down to build Ireland as a cruising destination, with considerable international interest built up for future flotilla cruises. One attraction of the Gathering Cruise was safety in numbers, companionable company, and the chance to try unexplored waters for many of the 50 boats’ sailors. Many of the skippers had never before been beyond a port or two from their home bases: “they felt a little bit safer, a little bit more secure”, McAllister notes.

The event will build over future summers, with a large flotilla gathering envisaged every four years, and smaller, annual ones as well. Interest garnered for the 2013 maiden flotilla cruise was considerable, followed internationally on logs, blogs and on Facebook.

A UK couple, Dave and Carole Winwood from Poole last sailed off the Irish south-west coast 15 years ago, revisiting with a friend Phil Bewl, on a six-week voyage that now sees them Galway-bound — a change from their traditional sailing waters like the Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Brittany and Vigo in Spain. “It’s been great fun and we’re spreading the word about Ireland,” they promised.

According to John Leahy, commodore of the Cruising Club of Ireland, the typical age of those who go cruising is from 40 to 70, an age profile dictated to in part by the cost of boats, and the time involved, though crews can be of any age, and voyages of any duration.

The Gathering saw one sailor, Dubliner Betty Dunne, celebrating her 80th birthday on the water and on shore at Oysterhaven.

Boats can typically cost €25,000 upwards, but more basic ones can be bought for the price of a second-hand car: €5,000 can see you out cruising in safety. Those without boats can join Irish charters or sailing courses, at prices from €500 to €1,000 — competitive with the likes of Greek or Croatian charters.

Not only are more people than ever making trips up and down the incredible coastline, whale and dolphin watching en route, they are served by a bigger than ever choice of support services, from marinas and pontoons to useful, cheery yellow ‘visitor moorings’ for casual arrivals. They are aided and assisted by GPS and other electronic navigation and weather-informing aids, while a potentially life-saving smartphone app, a position monitoring aid called ‘safetrx’ has just been launched with Irish Coastguard back-up.

The Gathering Cruise finished up in Dingle last weekend, with seven of the 50 boats that started in Dun Laoghaire then facing either a return trip or a continuation of a round-Ireland voyage. One crew that had decided to stay in Kinsale and not chance the Mizen rounding instead got a bus to Cork, hired a car and drove to Dingle for the final wrap party, part-sponsored by Dingle Brewery Company, and their Tom Crean beer. Tom Crean? Now, didn’t he really push the boat out?

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Jeremy Irons Opens Union Hall Festival by the Sea

Jeremy Irons was on hand in Union Hall, on Sunday 21 July 2013, to officially open the Union Hall Festival by the Sea.

For a full gallery of photos by Emma Jervis click HERE.

Coverage by The Southern Star newspaper of Skibbereen, Ireland

Jeremy also spent some time in Glandore and sailing his boat the Willing Lass around Glandore Harbour.

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Jeremy Irons at West Cork Emergency Services Cycle Event

Jeremy Irons was on hand in West Cork, Ireland on Saturday 13 July 2013, to help kick off the West Cork Emergency Services Cycling event.








Jeremy Irons to Open Union Hall Festival

From The Southern Star

Union Hall (photo by Kestutis Anuzis)

Union Hall (photo by Kestutis Anuzis)

By Louise Roseingrave

THE COUNTDOWN for cast off is on with just two weeks to go before Union Hall Festival by the Sea.

Sponsors, organisers and villagers gathered for the festival launch last week, welcoming the announcement that Jeremy Irons will officially open the festivities on July 21st.

The British actor’s appearance will follow a Gathering Mass in the church, a family sports day and a fancy dress parade through the village, led by the Millstreet Pipe Band and St Fachtna’s Silver Band. The ten-day summer gathering offers a packed schedule showcasing the best of what the village has to offer.


From scrumptious local produce to fishermen angling for the best catch, with a little sport, magic, music, busking, kids’ games and dancing thrown in, organisers are confident that both visitors and villagers alike will find something to write home about.

A bumper ten days of activities kicks off with Crowley’s Hall reunion dance on Friday, July 19th. Lovers who shared a first kiss after meeting at the venue can take a romantic trip down memory lane. Perhaps a few new love matches will fall into step with music by Eddie Lee.

The line-up includes a busking competition with €500 prize, live street music for some open air fun, cookery demonstrations on the causeway, local produce stalls, a rowing regatta, a football skills blitz and the list goes on and on. Festival spokesman Willie O’Donovan said the scope of events surpassed all expectation.


‘The scale of the programme over ten days offers something for all ages and all interests. We aimed to capture the village spirit with this celebration and the way the community and sponsors rowed in to help has been fantastic,’ he said. Since fishing is synonymous with Union Hall, Glenmar Shellfish MD Mel Bendon said he was delighted to support the festival.

‘The village is known for its community spirit as much as its fishing. There’s something special about it and we are excited to be able to welcome visitors to experience it,’ he said.

John O’Connell of West Cork Distillers is among the local producers set to quench a certain thirst among liqueur lovers with his handcrafted Drombeg whiskey.

‘The fact that our products are made here in the village provides a unique selling point for us. People all over the country know Union Hall as a little village by the sea and it’s always a talking point. We’re happy to be able to give something back to the community by supporting what should be a really great summer festival,’ he said.

Keep an eye on the Facebook page ‘Union Hall Festival by the Sea’ for updates.

Kilcoe Castle features carvings by Hugh Rance

See more of Hugh Rance’s work at his website

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