IRISH actor Gabriel Byrne was overwhelmed with emotion as he accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s IFTA ceremony in Dublin.
Byrne, who first appeared on our screens 40 years ago, was presented with his award by Irish President Michael D Higgins at Dublin’s Mansion House.
The Dublin native, 67, was treated to a standing ovation as he received his honour.
Holding back tears, he spoke of his gratitude at being given the opportunity to follow his dreams.
He said: “When you look back on the decisions that you’ve taken – sometimes with great premeditation, sometimes on instinct – you get to a place where you look back and you see the reverberations on those decisions.
“You look back at the successes, the failures, the doubts, the insecurities, the fears, the regrets, and the great gratitude that you have to have been given those things.
“I’m enormously grateful for the opportunities that have been given – I’m really glad that I took them, because I was never encouraged to listen to the voice inside yourself that says ‘do it, go for it’.
“It’s better to have done it than not to have done it.”
Social media users were delighted for the star, who attended the awards with his wife Hannah Beth King.
Bhronn an tUachtarán Ó hUigínn Gradam Saoil ó Acadamh Scannán agus Teilifíse na hÉireann ar an aisteoir Gabriel Byrne.https://t.co/yNG7fLXnoq pic.twitter.com/OfkS6kDd4Z
— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) 15 February 2018
Is this not the SWEETEST photo of Gabriel Byrne at the #IFTAs pic.twitter.com/Pp0JHyr4ed
— Sínann Fetherston (@sinannf) 15 February 2018
Congratulations #GabrielByrne on your Lifetime Achievement Award 👏👏👏 #IFTA18 Well deserved. https://t.co/e55KJnLrHB
— Breda O'Neill (@Bon_2828) 15 February 2018
Congratulations to #GabrielByrne on receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award tonight. Well deserved. #IFTA18
— Rachel Pilkington (@RCPilkington) 15 February 2018
🎉 A huge congratulations to Spotlight member Gabriel Byrne for being honoured with a Lifetime Achievement award! #IFTA18 🎉 pic.twitter.com/UYbyiD49Hf
— Spotlight Ireland (@spotlight_ie) 15 February 2018
Chorus of 'aww!' from the press room at @ifta awards when we realise how emotional Gabriel Byrne is getting his lifetime achievement award
— Aoife Barry (@sweetoblivion26) 15 February 2018
One of Byrne’s first roles was as Pat Barry in Irish TV series The Riordans in 1978, while his first major film role was in John Boorman’s 1981 saga Excalibur, alongside Liam Neeson and Helen Mirren.
He became a household name when he played the lead role of Tom Reagan in the Coen Brothers’ 1990 film Miller’s Crossing.
He went on to star in critical and commercial hits including The Usual Suspects, Enemy of the State and End of Days.
Among the other winners on the night were Saoirse Ronan, who won the Actress in a Leading Role award for Lady Bird, and Barry Keoghan, who received the Actor in a Supporting Role honour for The Killing of a Sacred Deer.
Liam Cunningham won the award for Supporting Actor (Drama) for his portrayal of Davos Seaworth in Game of Thrones while Charlie Murphy won the Supporting Actress (Drama) award for her role as Jessie Eden in Peaky Blinders.
Cillian Murphy was named Leading Actor (Drama) for the BBC hit, while Martin McDonagh won the Screenwriter Film award for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.