Byrne appointed culture ambassador
Gabriel Byrne has been appointed Ireland's ambassador for culture.
The honour, announced Tuesday by prime minister Brian Cowen, means the Dublin-born actor - who stars in US TV show In Treatment - will work with the Culture Ireland agency to promote Irish artists, shows and festivals in the United States.
Cowen, who is meeting US President Barack Obama at the White House on St Patrick's Day, says Byrne is already "one of Ireland's great ambassadors through his work in film and theatre".
The Irish government said the 59-year-old will advise Irish diplomatic staff about "creating a dynamic program of art, ideas, debate and reflection which helps to foster a renewed, forward-looking cultural relationship between Ireland and America".