Saoirse in town as Ireland's own 'Royal Academy' opens
HOLLYWOOD actor Saoirse Ronan joined a galaxy of stars last night to celebrate the opening of Ireland's answer to the famous Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
The Lir, Ireland's National Academy of Dramatic Art, which was built to provide a centre to train Ireland's aspiring young actors and theatre makers, was officially opened in Dublin's Docklands. It will train young actors, designers, directors, playwrights, stage managers and theatre technicians to the highest international standards.
"I think it is fantastic that The Lir has finally come to fruition," said Saoirse, who will soon begin filming Neil Jordan's latest offering 'Byzantium' in Dublin.
"I have met a lot of young people in Ireland who are trying to get into acting, directing and theatre and don't quite know how to go about it," she said.
"Now we have somewhere where they can go to learn the craft and be with other creative people."
Faces from across the worlds of theatre, TV, film, and radio, including author Sebastian Barry, actors Alan Stanford, Conor McPherson, Kirsten Sheridan and Charlene McKenna turned out last night to lend their support.
The academy, which is attached to Trinity College Dublin, was the brainchild of actress Danielle Ryan, daughter of the late businessman and philanthropist Cathal Ryan.
Its building and development was funded by the Cathal Ryan Trust, which bequeathed a sizeable amount of money to the arts in Ireland.