Prestigious award for playwright Friel

One of Ireland’s finest playwrights, Brian Friel, is to be presented with a major award by President Mary McAleese today in an honorary ceremony.

Ms McAleese will present the Donegal playwright with a gold torc after the members of Aosdana elected him a Saoi.

Aosdana, which was established by the Arts Council in 1981, honours artists whose work has made an outstanding contribution to the arts in Ireland.

The 208 members of Aosdana elect a Saoi for sustained distinction in the arts following nominations by its members.

The secret vote is made by post, and over 50% of the electorate must agree on the choice of Saoi. Up to five people are granted the honour at any one time, with Friel joining Louis le Brocquy, Benedict Kiely, Seamus Heaney and Anthony Cronin.

Friel’s Faith Healer, starring English Patient actor Ralph Fiennes, Ingrid Craigie and Ian McDiarmid, is currently playing to sold out audiences in the Gate Theatre, where all tickets were snapped up before the opening night.

The playwright has also won Best Play in London’s Evening Standard Theatre Awards for The Home Place last November.

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

Good days and bad days says Naomi Watts after Liev Schreiber split

Sir Elton John's music video contest winners unveiled at Cannes

Lana Del Rey and The Weeknd dance on Hollywood sign in new video

Sarah Jessica Parker admits Sex and the City 2 was a flop


Lifestyle

Hugh Cornwell says music needs something to lash out against

Why does almost every female character on TV have the same perfect locks?

Pre-eclampsia - the condition that kills 100,000 pregnant women and 500,000 babies every year globally

Gorse fires wreaking havoc on forgotten plants and animals

More From The Irish Examiner