Kenneth Branagh honours 'the fabulous island of Ireland' in Oscars acceptance speech

Kenneth Branagh honours 'the fabulous island of Ireland' in Oscars acceptance speech

WRITER AND director of Belfast Kenneth Branagh has won his first ever Oscar for Best Original Screenplay at the prestigious awards.

Speaking during his acceptance speech, Branagh said the story was "the search for hope and joy in face of violence and loss."

He paid tribute to people who have been lost along the way, including Johnny Sessions, Jamie Dornan's father Jim and Leah Newman.

"We miss them; we love them; we will never forget the. And we will never forget all those lost in the heartbreaking, heartwarming, human story of that amazing city of Belfast on the fabulous island of Ireland."

Despite his decades-long career, this is Branagh's first Oscar win.

He also won the award for in the same category at the Baftas two week ago, as well as a Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award earlier this year.

Other nominees in the category included Don't Look Up, King Richard, Licorice Pizza and The Worst Person in the World.

Belfast had received nominations in seven categories, but failed to pick up any more.

Other memorable moments on the night include Best Actor winner Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock after he made a joke about Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith's hair loss.

In his acceptance speech, Smith tearfully apologised to the Academy. The Academy in turn tweeted to say it does not condone violence of any form.

Dune won the most awards on the night, taking home six Oscars, while CODA won the award for Best Picture. It also received the awards for Best Adapted Screenplay for its director Sian Heder and Best Supporting Actor for star Troy Kotsur. He became the first Deaf male actor to win an Oscar.

The Best Actress award went to Jessica Chastain, while the Best Supporting Actress award went to Ariana DeBose.

Jane Campion became the third ever woman to win the award for Best Director for her Netflix film The Power of the Dog.