Hollywood star John C. Reilly has said he is honoured to be a special guest at tomorrow’s St Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin.
The Irish American start of films like ‘Step Brothers’ and ‘Talladega Nights’ is the international guest of honour at the event and will join Grand Marshalls Kellie Harrington and Ellen Keane at the event.
Reilly has been nominated for Oscar and Tony awards and appeared in dozens of movies throughout his career – including ‘The Lobster’, which was filmed in Kerry.
John C. Reilly at the Guinness Storehouse at this morning’s St Patrick’s Festival 2022 media conference, 16-03-2022. Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews
Speaking at a special event in the Guinness Storehouse this afternoon, the 56-year-old who has Irish roots through his father, said he is delighted to be the guest of honour tomorrow.
“This is a big honour for me actually,” he said. “It might just seem like a goof to just appear at a parade but to me, it has deep meaning as an Irish-American and I know that my father who is somewhere watching right now couldn’t be more proud.
“You know, I have always been a big supporter of Ireland. I have come here many, many times over the years; I have vacationed here, I have worked here but it feels especially important to come here now to let people know that Ireland is open for business again.”
The fifth of six, children Reilly grew up in an Irish-Lithuanian household in a predominantly Irish neighbourhood in Southwest Chicago.
His great grandfather emigrated from Ireland along with various other family members in the early 1900s to build a life in the US.
He said he now has another achievement to mark off his bucket-list.
“In retrospect, it is a bucket-list item,” he said. “It is not like it is something I had dreamed of doing beforehand because I don’t think I was audacious enough to dream that I would be the guest of honour at the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin.
“It is just one of these incredible things – like the Life of Reilly, you know, it just fell into my lap.
“It is a great turn of events for me for sure.”
Reilly will join Ireland’s Olympic and Paralympic gold medallists Kellie Harrington and Ellen Keane at the head of Ireland’s first national parade since the pandemic began.
Organisers have said it will be the “most ambitious yet” with new pageant participants, bigger creative builds and breath-taking new artistic elements.
The parade will get underway at 12pm on Thursday March 17th, making its way from Parnell Square to St Stephen’s Green.