THERE is no shortage of Kerry connections among the nominees for this year's Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTAs), with Listowel man PJ Dillon in the running for his work on HBO's hugely-popular Game of Thrones.
Dingle woman Aideen O'Sullivan is also in the running for her work on When Ali Came to Ireland, a documentary about Muhammad Ali's famous visit to Ireland in 1972. Abbeydorney animator John Rice is nominated for his cartoon Roy, now a major BBC children's series and the town of Waterville also looms large in the awards categories thanks to documentary Chaplin the Waterville Picture by Mick Mahon.
PJ Dillon told The Kerryman he was delighted with the nomination. "It's great recognition obviously and it I thoroughly enjoyed working on Game of Thrones. It was certainly the biggest TV production, with a budget of €80 million, that I've ever worked on and presented a few challenges."
The Listowel native cut his teeth on The Field and a couple of decades later finds himself incredibly busy directing photography on numerous productions. Sunday night's episode of the BBC's new Victorian crime drama Ripper Street was shot by Dillon and he also worked on the History channel's Vikings, which airs in March.
Dillon last won an IFTA for The Runway in 2011, while Amy Huberman won best actress for her lead role in Rewind, which Dillon directed.
Meanwhile, two Dublin actors with strong Kerry connections are nominated for their work on RTE's smash hit TV series Love/Hate. Robert Sheehan is the son of a Killorglin man while Tom Vaughan Lawlor's father Tom is a native of Ardfert
Roy is nominated in the Children's/Youth TV category, made by Abbeydorney man John Rice and his massive team of animators in Dublin. The show was recommissioned by the BBC in October when it was expected Jam Media would employ 60 more as a result.
Aideen O'Sullivan from Dingle was co-producer on When Ali Came to Ireland, nominated under Sports and Chaplin the Waterville Picture is nominated under Editing TV.