Minister for the Diaspora and International Development Ciaran Cannon has called for playwright and Oscar-winner Martin McDonagh to be made a Freeman of County Galway.
Minister Cannon said this week that Martin McDonagh is probably the most talked-about playwright of his generation, having won international acclaim for his most recent cinematic contribution, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
“His ability to take the traditional elements of Irish theatre and invest them with darkly comic overtones, while at the same time creating some truly memorable and often quirky characters, has won the admiration of large and appreciative audiences on this island and beyond,” said Minister Cannon.
His father was a native of Lettermullan in Connemara and Martin himself spent some of his childhood between Galway and his mother`s homeplace in Sligo. His first ever play to reach the stage, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, was first shown in the Town Hall Theatre, Galway, in 1996.
“While not all commentators and academics have expressed appreciation of his work, it cannot be denied that he has given proof of what actor Willem Dafoe said that ‘With theatre, you have to be ready for anything’.
“As a son of the Irish diaspora, he has distinguished himself in the creative arts and in doing so he has contributed to Ireland`s reputation abroad as an inspiration for artistic innovation. Significantly too, his work has ensured that creative artists have had employment in an industry in which, sadly, many never get to make a living from their calling.
“Given his links to Galway and his contribution to contemporary discussion of the arts, I think Martin McDonagh would be a fitting recipient of the Freedom of County Galway and I will be approaching the Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council, Eileen Mannion, to propose that this honour be conferred on him,” he said.