‘A master of his craft’: Hero’s welcome awaits Oscar winner Cillian Murphy back in Ireland

‘A master of his craft’: Hero’s welcome awaits Oscar winner Cillian Murphy back in Ireland

OSCAR winner Cillian Murphy can expect a hero’s welcome when he returns to Ireland following his historic win at the Academy Awards.

The Cork native, who hails from Douglas, won Best Actor at the 96th Academy Awards in the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California on Sunday, March 10 for his role in Oppenheimer.

He beat off strong competition to win the category, where he went up against Paul Giamatti for The Holdovers, Bradley Cooper for Maestro, Colman Domingo for Rustin and Jeffrey Wright for American Fiction.

Cillian Murphy (R) attends the 96th Annual Academy Awards with wife Yvonne McGuinness

Having already won a BAFTA and a Golden Globe for his role in Christopher Nolan’s epic 2023 blockbuster, Murphy was hotly tipped to take the Oscar, but admitted he was “quite overwhelmed” when he took to the stage to accept it.

“Chris Nolan and Emma Thomas, it’s been the wildest, most exhilarating, most creatively satisfying journey you’ve taken me on over the last 20 years,” he said.

“I owe you more than I can say, thank you so much. Every single crew member, every single cast member on Oppenheimer you guys carried me through. All my fellow nominees, I remain in awe of you guys, truly.”

The proud Irishman went on to thank his “team” which included wife Yvonne McGuinness, who he described as his “partner in life and art” as well as his two sons Malachy and Aran “who are sitting up there”.

“I love you so much and I’m a very proud Irishman standing here tonight,” he said.

Cillian Murphy is congratulated by his wife as he is announced as the winner of the Best Actor award

He added: "You know, we made a film about the man who created the atomic bomb and for better or for worse we’re all living in Oppenheimer’s world, so I’d really like to dedicate this to the peacemakers everywhere. Go raibh míle maith agaibh."

Congratulating Murphy on his win, Ireland’s Culture Minister Catherine Martin said it was “fitting recognition” for his talent.

“This award for his title role in Oppenheimer is the pinnacle of any actor’s career and a fitting recognition of the immense talent of Cillian Murphy,” she said.

“Long a favourite of Irish audiences on stage and screen, he has since shown himself to be a master of his craft and has secured his place among the world’s greatest actors,” she added.

“This Oscar success is no more than he deserves and I wish him every success in all his future films.”

Cillian Murphy pictured with his Best Actor Oscar

Minister Martin also congratulated the cast and crew of Poor Things, which was co-produced by the Dublin-based Element Pictures - which secured 11 Oscar nominations and won four awards on the night.

Praising Irish producers Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe, as well as Irish cinematographer Robbie Ryan, Minister Martin said: “2023 was a hugely successful year for Irish film production and Irish talent.

“I hope this Academy Award is a starting point for more success and acclaim for the large pool of talent existing in the Irish film industry."

Ireland’s President Michael D Higgins has also prasied Ireland’s Oscar winners.

“Congratulations to Cillian Murphy on his wonderful achievement in winning the Best Actor Oscar, which he so appropriately dedicated to the peacemakers everywhere,” President Higgins said.

“Congratulations too to Element Pictures on the success of Poor Things,” he added.