Legendary Irish actress Fionnula Flanagan will be formally inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame on Wednesday, the 4th of July, 2012 at the Dunbrody Famine Ship’s Emigration History Centre in New Ross, Co. Wexford.
The induction ceremony takes place as a focal point of the larger 4th of July festivities in New Ross, as the town celebrates its first official Irish America Day. In honor of the achievements of Irish-Americans of the past, the Hall of Fame will also mark the posthumous inductions of celebrated Irish Americans and Irish-born people who made a lasting impact on Irish America, including beloved musician Liam Clancy and James Concannon, the Inis Meain-born founder of the highly successful Concannon Vineyard in California’s Livermore Valley.
The Irish America Hall of Fame is the centerpiece of the Dunbrody’s visitor center, developed in collaboration with Editor-in-Chief Patricia Harty and Publisher Niall O’Dowd of Irish America Magazine. It celebrates the lives, works and achievements of noted individuals of Irish birth and heritage, such as President John F. Kennedy and the Kennedy family, Maureen O’Hara, Michael Flatley, Henry Ford and President Bill Clinton.
A star of both the screen and the stage, Flanagan was born in Dublin in 1941. She was raised speaking English and Irish, and studied acting at the renowned Abbey Theatre. In 1968 she made her Broadway debut playing Maggie in Brian Friel’s Lovers. During the U.S. tour of Lovers she met her husband, Dublin-born psychiatrist Dr. Garrett O’Connor, and the couple has made their home in Los Angeles.
In film, Flanagan has triumphed in an abundance of scene-stealing roles, in such gems as Some Mother’s Son, The Others, Waking Ned Devine, and The Guard. A familiar face in many American television shows and series, including Star Trek, Lost, Brotherhood, and Rich Man, Poor Man (for which she won an Emmy), Flanagan has also established herself as one of the eminent portrayers of James Joyce’s female characters. She first played Gerty MacDowell in the 1967 film of Ulysses, and went on to play Molly Bloom in the 1973 Broadway production of Ulysses in Nighttown and in James Joyce’s Women, Flanagan’s one woman show which she also adapted for the screen. In February 2012, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins presented Flanagan with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTAs).
Flanagan has called her selection to join the Irish America Hall of Fame “a great honor.”
Looking forward to the induction ceremony, Patricia Harty said, “We at Irish America are particularly pleased to be welcoming Fionnula Flanagan as our latest inductee into the Hall of Fame. The awards that mark each of the honorees’ inductions contain the inscription “Cuimhnigí Ar Na Daoine A dTáinig Sibh Uathu – Remember the People You Came From”. Throughout her astounding body of work, Fionnula has embodied this – garnering great success and building a life in America, all the while remaining a steadfast supporter and symbol of Irish artistic talent.”
To learn more about Irish America Day visit: www.irishamericaday.com