‘An Irish Hello’ – Oscar & BAFTA winner returns to his old primary school in Co Antrim
It wasn't a normal kind of day for the children of a local County Antrim primary school on Thursday, for they had a VIP who decided to pop in to say 'hello' to the children at his former primary school.
Oscar and BAFTA winner, and star in 'An Irish Goodbye' Seamus O'Hara returned to St Ciaran's Primary School in Cushendun. The red carpet was rolled out and excited children were ready with handfuls of gold confetti to give Seamus the perfect movie star welcome.
It has been a big journey for the Northern Irish actor.
Just over a week ago the young man who grew up in Cushendun on Antrim coast, found himself standing on the stage at the 95th Academy Awards ceremony held in Los Angeles on Sunday 12 March, for his role along with fellow actors in 'An Irish Goodbye'.
Featuring Seamus alongside James Martin, Paddy Jenkins and Michelle Fairley, 'An Irish Goodbye' follows the reunion of estranged brothers Turlough (Seamus) and Lorcan (James Martin). A dedicated farmer, Lorcan's dream of continuing to work the land he grew up on is thwarted when Turlough decides he's sending him to live with their aunt on the other side of Ireland.
On the night the film was awarded the 2023 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. An Irish Goodbye also won Best Short Film at the 76th British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) on 19 February this year.
But back to humble roots in the close-knit village of Cushendun on Thursday, the local man enjoyed taking a walk down memory lane and spending time with the children, taking questions and sharing stories of his own journey.
Seamus also paid tribute to two very important people in his life, his "Daddy and Mammy", who inspired him to pursue a career in acting.
Commenting on Seamus' special visit yesterday, Principal of St Ciaran's Primary School Rhona Donnelly said:
"Staff and pupils at St Ciarans were delighted to have past pupil and Oscar winner Seamus O'Hara visit and talk about his movie success.
"The children asked some insightful questions about being an actor and Seamus answered with his wit and charm. A true inspiration to our small rural community!
"The buzz within the school and amongst the children is amazing. Not many schools can say their past pupil is an Oscar winner! It was a truly memorable morning for our whole school".
"Seamus is a wonderful role model and true inspiration for our pupils; it shows them that with determination and hardwork no dream is too big!"