Saoirse lights up red carpet at glittering Oscars ceremony
Carlow's Saoirse Ronan (21) lit up the red carpet at a glittering Oscars ceremony in Hollywood last night as she carried Irish hopes of an award for her role in the film 'Brooklyn'.
Ronan, who was previously nominated at the age of 13 for the movie 'Atonement', was hotly tipped for her role as a homesick immigrant in New York.
She was up against Charlotte Rampling (70), former Oscar winners Cate Blanchett and Jennifer Lawrence, and Golden Globe and Bafta winner Brie Larson, who was nominated for her role in 'Room', the film by Irish writer Emma O'Donoghue.
Meanwhile, actor Leonardo DiCaprio was hoping to pick up his first Oscar for his role in 'The Revenant'.
He was competing with Britain's Eddie Redmayne, who was up for his second consecutive best actor gong at the glittering ceremony in Los Angeles.
But the pair were up against Irish actor Michael Fassbender for 'Steve Jobs', Matt Damon for 'The Martian' and Bryan Cranston for 'Trumbo'.
DiCaprio's career has spanned more than 20 years, and has seen him star in a dazzling list of hit films, but an Oscar has eluded him despite a number of nominations.
The 2016 Oscars - the 88th Academy Awards - have been mired in controversy with high-profile stars opting to boycott the event due to a lack of diversity.
An unprecedented debate about race in the film industry was sparked after none of the nominees for the best actor and actress and best supporting actor and actress categories were from an ethnic minority.
The hashtag #OscarSoWhite has become a rallying cry for dissatisfied film stars and fans.
Actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith said they would boycott the ceremony, alongside director Spike Lee.
Stars including actors George Clooney, Mark Ruffalo, Lupita Nyong'o, David Oyelowo, Viola Davis and British director Steve McQueen spoke of their disappointment at the lack of diversity.