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Wild Geese to honor Gabriel Byrne at Celtic Ball

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The Wild Geese will honor stage and screen actor Gabriel Byrne at its annual Celtic New Year Ball, which will be held Oct. 28 from 6:30 p.m. to midnight at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Old Greenwich, Conn.

Byrne will be honored for his contribution to Irish culture.

"It’s an honor to have Gabriel Bryne, a distinguished actor, producer, and writer as this year’s recipient of our Wild Geese Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Culture," said Robert Murray Jr., president and co-chair of the ball. "He articulates the vision and objectives of our


Said Byrne: "I am deeply honored and touched by this award. As somebody who has experienced emigration and immigration, I feel profoundly in touch with the spirit of the Wild Geese."

Byrne has starred in the films "Miller’s Crossing," "Smilla’s Sense of Snow," "The Man in the Iron Mask," "Stigmata" and "End of Days," among others. He also produced the film "In the Name of the Father," which received five Oscar nominations. He recently acted in the Broadway production of the Eugene O’Neill play "A Moon for the Misbegotten" and is currently shooting "Madigan’s Men," a TV sitcom.

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The Wild Geese is a not-for-profit Irish-American organization dedicated to increasing awareness of Irish culture though regular lecture-discussions and sponsorship of festive Irish events, such as their St. Patrick’s Day parade in Greenwich, the Bloomsday Festival and Garden Party, which celebrates James Joyce’s writings, and the Celtic New Year Ball, the organization’s major fund-raising event.

The Wild Geese’s annual grants program has assisted many institutions. Irish history books have been donated to local public and private high schools, and the Irish Repertory Theater in New York City has also benefited financially. The 19-year-old organization has also given funds to the Famine Museum Strokestown, Ireland and to Project Children.

The Wild Geese is named after the Irish who fled their 17th century homeland rather than be subjected to foreign domination.

Tickets for the black-tie Celtic Ball are $200 per person. For details, call Thomas Toohy at (203) 531-5547.

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