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Anna Nolan: Our Saoirse is a surefire A-lister

We have a star on our hands. A super duper, A-list megastar. Saoirse Ronan's new film, Hanna, is a massive success in America, outdoing the Russell Brand movie remake, Arthur, and bringing in over $23m (€16m).

All because of a young girl from, well New York, actually. She moved to Carlow when she was three, but there is no way we are not going to claim her as Irish through and through.

From her first appearance on television, in The Clinic in 2003, Saoirse has gone from good to amazing. She was nominated in 2008 for a Bafta, an Oscar and a Golden Globe, all for her performance in the film Atonement.

The director of that movie, Joe Wright, became so impressed with her that he cast her as the lead in the movie Hanna, which is due out here at the beginning of May.

This girl is only 17 years of age, yet her screen presence is one of a much more mature, much more experienced actor.

I once heard her being compared to Meryl Streep and I think that's a great comparison. There is a stillness to her performance that could be likened to Streep in the movie Kramer Vs Kramer.

No doubt Hanna will be a huge hit when it reaches the cinemas here in May, and no doubt Saoirse has a magnificent career ahead of her. No better woman.

I rallied for Civil Partnerships but now I am wondering whether weddings are worth the bother

To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, til death do us part. These words are spoken every time a man and woman are married.

To hear them once must be very moving. To hear them a second time (as a result of divorce), surely one must have a knowing smile on one's face. To hear them a third time, well if it were me I'd probably be filing my nails, because I wouldn't be able to take the words seriously.


Sinead O'Connor's third marriage to Steve Cooney has bitten the dust. The eight-month marriage ended because of Sinead, who was quoted as saying, "Steve is lovely, so it's not his fault but mine. It was an extremely happy marriage. I'm heartbroken about it breaking up."

Seemingly after the second marriage to Nick Sommerland, O'Connor was also said to be devastated.

So why get married a third time? Why not give it a go the once and then, when it failed, just be happy dating someone? What is it about this archaic ceremony that makes a person feel that simply by tying the knot, a relationship is more secure?


Sinead's third-time-unlucky news has got me thinking about my own wedding plans.

Until the recent introduction of Civil Partnerships, I have never had the chance to consider marriage as an option. Now I have been able to reflect on what it would do for me, and for me and my partner, for us as a couple.

Now I am reflecting on why I might not want to take this particular sort of plunge at all.

The Civil Partnership legislation has allowed me for the first time to contemplate an event that would show our friends just how united and dedicated to one another we are.

Hell, I've even thought of what outfit I'd wear. I have secretly looked into venues and menus. And it is a lovely process. I can understand, at last, the excitement my pals at school would have had when they would describe the big day they wanted and how their prince on horseback would arrive to take them away.

Though in my case, it's a PRINCESS, in an old Merc... but that's just as cool.

But for the first time, I have allowed myself to consider that I might not need a wedding at all.

Previously, Civil Partnership was something I would have campaigned for, supported and written about passionately. But now that it is here, I too, just like heterosexual couples, am not obliged to take it up. Sure why bother? Just because I can? We are a happy couple and we don't need a document to prove that we love each other.


I can see it has its uses as a legal procedure, to address issues such as next of kin authority and property. But apart from these, I already know inside that I will love her until death do us part without having to say it at some ceremony.

As for getting married twice or three times, that is beyond my comprehension when I can't understand why you cannot be with someone permanently and without all the legal binding.

Elizabeth Taylor once said: "I am a very committed wife. And I should be committed too -- for being married so many times." This incredibly insecure woman needed a husband. Why? Perhaps marriage was a safety blanket in an all-too-scary world.

Do I need one too? I'm pretty sure I don't.

But then again, I haven't been asked...