All of the Irish Academy Award winners over the years

Brian McEvoy / Michele Burke 

In honour of Cillian Murphy winning an Oscar last night for his lead role in Oppenheimer, we’ve rounded up all the amazing Irish actors, directors, make-up artists, production designers and screenwriters who have won an Academy Award for their incredible talent over the years.  

In the world of Hollywood, no one does it quite like the Irish.

Let’s take a closer look at those who have gone the distance in their career and received the highest award anyone in the arts could dream of – an Academy Award.  

Breda Fricker 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Newstalk (@newstalkfm)

Originally from Dublin, Breda made history as the first Irish woman to win an Academy Award for her role in the 1989 film, My Left Foot.

She won her Oscar in the Best Supporting Actress category for her harrowing role as Christy Browne’s mother in the film about his life. 

Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova 

In 2008, the pair won the Best Original Song Oscar for their hit track ‘Falling Slowly’. The song was composed for the film Once, which has been deemed one of the best music films of all time.

In his acceptance speech Glen Hansard explained how they made the movie with a low budget and never expected to be standing in front of all Hollywood’s elite. 

Josie McAvin 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sam Hunter (@sam_hunter26)

Josie received three nominations: in 1963 for Tom Jones; in 1965 for The Spy Who Came in From the Cold; and in 1985 for Out of Africa, for which she won the Oscar in the Best Art Direction category.

For her work on Scarlett, Josie was also awarded an Emmy making her the only Irish woman to win both an Oscar and an Emmy. Her Academy Award and Emmy are on exhibit at the Irish Film Institute.  

Daniel Day Lewis  


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Filmstract (@filmstract)

Although London born, we’re claiming Irish citizen Daniel Day Lewis.

The now retired actor has been nominated for Best Actor six times and has won an impressive three Oscars for his roles in My Left Foot (1989) where he portrayed Christy Brown, an Irish writer and painter with cerebral palsy, There Will Be Blood (2007) and Lincoln (2012).

He is the only actor in the history of the Academy Awards to win three Oscars. 

Michèle Burke  

This Kildare born makeup artist is no stranger to the Oscars.

Michèle has won two Oscars in the Best Makeup category for her incredible makeup and special effects skills. She won her first Oscar in 1982 for her work on Quest for Fire. Her second was in 1993 for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Neil Jordan  


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by cillian murphy (@icoonmurphy)

The Irish director, screenwriter and novelist who was born in Sligo and raised in Dublin, received two Oscar nominations for his film The Crying Game, taking home the award for Best Original Screenplay in 1993.

He has written and directed some incredible films including Breakfast on Pluto starring Cillian Murphy and Michael Collins starring Liam Neeson. 

Richard Baneham 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Newstalk (@newstalkfm)

Two-time Oscar winner, Richard Baneham is a Tallaght native who has won the academy award twice in the Best Visual Effects category.

He first won in 2010 for his work on Avatar and again in 2023 for Avatar: The Way of Water.  

George Bernard Shaw 

The Irish playwright won his Oscar in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for Pygmalion in 1939.

Born in Dublin, George is the only one of two people to have won both an Oscar and the Nobel Peace Prize. Pygmalion was later remade as the successful musical and film My Fair Lady. 

Emma Donoghue 

In 2016, the Dublin-born writer won an Oscar in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for her screenplay Room, originally a bestselling novel rewritten for the cinema.

Since she has had another film adaptation of her novel The Wonder, which was a Netflix hit starring Florence Pugh. 

 Words by Abby Sammon 

Related Stories


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

google ads
VIP Live - The home of Irish celebrities