I'm not such a blow-in now, says 'Corkman' Jeremy
Jeremy Irons is chuffed to be an honorary Corkman.
"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," he said, after receiving the award from his fellow west Cork resident, 'Chariots of Fire' producer David Puttnam.
"But at least now that I am an honorary Corkman I am not quite such a blow-in. I am chuffed."
The Oscar-winning English star, who lives in Kilcoe Castle in west Cork with his Dublin-born wife, Sinead Cusack, says 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."
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'.
Irons vowed to make his first film in Ireland -- and said he would love to work on a film dealing with the Great Famine. "A good script is all it takes. I would like to do a story about the famine. The famine is something that lurks... particularly down in west Cork."
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 '12 Years A Slave'.
"I am not allowed to say because I vote (in the Academy). But there are some extraordinary performances this year. Michael is a fantastic actor... as another actor looking at him I think he is far too good."
A Corkman of the Year nominee, world champion athlete Rob Heffernan (35), admitted he had other reasons to be nervous than sharing a stage with Irons and Mr 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," he said.