Accepting his award at the pre- Oscars party, O’Brien joked that he “is truly Irish, unlike previous honorees, such as JJ Abrams, Russian Jew Paul Rudd” and randomly “Idi Amin”.
O’Brien thanked the authentically Irish in the crowd — not just the ‘Kiss Me, I’m Irish’ people — for the honour.
MC at the pre-Oscars party was Lionsgate chairman Michael Burns who opened the night by paying tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman: “Oscar Wilde, tonight’s patron saint, imagined death as a place to ‘forget time, forgive life and to be at peace’ — and we hope this is true for Phil.”
Honoree Chad Hurley declared that his connection to Ireland dates back to the 18th century and thanked “my family and, especially one man — Daniel Hurley who first came to this country and in a way made this all possible”.
LA Galaxy and Irish footballer Robbie Keane introduced The Strypes onto the stage to play before inviting them to the LA Galaxy training session.
Also in attendance were HBO Films president Len Amato, Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly, former honoree and CAA agent Hylda Queally, and host Katie McGrath.
Walking the “green” carpet were actors Dana Delany, Jason O’Mara, Jason Barry; singer Joey McInytre; film producers Suzanne Todd, Pat Crowley, Jane Evans; writer Tim Dowling; and GI Joe director and Justin Bieber documentary maker Jon M Chu.
Several guests flew in from Ireland including James Hickey and Naoise Barry of the Irish Film Board; producers Morgan O’Sullivan and James Flynn; filmmakers Garret Daly and Martina McGlynn, founder Paddy Cosgrave, and SOS Ventures founder Sean O’Sullivan.
Because this annual event has become so popular, the US-Ireland Alliance has recently launched the ‘by invitation’ Cultúr Club, a way to bring Irish and American people together more often.