THE director of the Abbey Theatre has joined Hollywood's elite as a member of France's national Order of Arts and Letters, the country's highest cultural award.
Senator Fiach MacConghail was awarded one of France's highest honours for his many achievements in the arts at a special ceremony at the French residence in Dublin. Previous recipients of the Ordre des Arts et Lettres include Grammy-award-winning musician Stevie Wonder, Oscar-winning actor Michael Caine and Australian pop star Kylie Minogue.
Speaking about the award, Mr MacConghail said: "It is a great personal honour to receive this award on behalf of my family and my colleagues at the Abbey Theatre. As we approach an interesting period of historical commemorations in Ireland, I will continue to be a voice for the arts community through my work at the Abbey and in the Seanad."
Under the directorship of Mr MacConghail, the artistic reputation of Ireland's national theatre has flourished at home and abroad.
He follows in the footsteps of Michael Colgan, director of the Gate Theatre, who was awarded with a Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters medal in 2007.