American actor John C. Reilly is the International Guest of Honour at this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin, and he is gushing about all things Ireland, including the Irish star, he’d love to work with.
John revealed that he is a massive Saoirse Ronan fan and is dying for the chance to work with her. Telling extra.ie he said; “The great Saoirse Ronan would be the one I’d be most excited to work with in the future somehow, somewhere.”
“I met her one time when I was the Late Late Show, which I’ll be doing again on Thursday night. The last time I was on it, I ran into Saoirse backstage, and I thought, ‘man that’s a special person.’ I hope somehow we cross paths.”
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But his love for the Irish didn’t stop there as he revealed a big reason he chose to appear in the parade was pride in his Irish-American heritage and his desire to show the world, “Ireland is open for business again.”
Explaining, “‘It might just seem like a goof to appear in a parade but to me it has deep meaning as an Irish American. I know that my father who is watching somewhere right now couldn’t be more proud. I’ve always been a big supporter of Ireland. I’ve worked here many many times over the years. I’ve vacationed here, I’ve worked here, but it feels especially important to come here now to let people know that Ireland is open for business again.”
But his decision also came from wanting to bring some happiness around after the difficult few years everyone had. Saying, “We’ve all been through so much, when this opportunity came along, I thought ‘what a great opportunity to spread some joy.’
He added; “Obviously it’s a very difficult time in the world in many different ways for many different people, but we can’t let that stop us from expressing our joy. Joy is a great way to dispel darkness in all its forms.”
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Of course, John isn’t the only special guest featuring in the parade this year. Olympic boxer Kellie Harrington and Paralympic swimmer Ellen Keane have been chosen to be this years ‘grand marshals’ at the St. Patrick’s day parade – and who better to lead the festivities than this incredible pair?
Both women took home gold in Tokyo last year, making them the perfect choice for this year’s parade as they inspire young Irish people to follow their dreams and work hard. Speaking of their decision, organisers of the Patrick’s day celebrations said that the girls “represent the very best of Ireland – strength, perseverance and generosity of spirit.”
This year’s St. Patrick’s day parade will be the first since 2019, with the last two years having been postponed due to the pandemic. As a result, organisers are putting everything they can into making this year’s event unforgettable, and have said that this year will be “the most ambitious yet.”
Speaking about the parade, both Harrington and Keane beamed with pride. Kellie spoke of her Dubliner pride. Saying, “Everyone knows how much I love my country and my beloved city. I can’t wait to be leading the magic through the streets of Dublin and to see all of those faces smiling back at me, having the time of their lives.”
While Ellen shared that being a part of the parade has been a dream of hers since she was a child. Explaining, “When I was younger and watching the parade in Dublin, I always wanted to be one of the children taking part…I am so honoured and grateful for this opportunity and I know it is a day I will remember for the rest of my life.”
Words by Slaine McKenna