Minister for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciaran Cannon, has said that the five BAFTA awards picked up by Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a tribute to the director's "artistic genius".
Minister Cannon said: “I think it is a splendid testimonial to the creative genius of Martin McDonagh and the artistic team associated with Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri that this movie has picked up five awards from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
“This is a world-leading independent arts charity that was originally founded by cinematic giants like Laurence Olivier, David Lean and Alexander Korda among others and has as its vision a ‘world where everyone’s life is culturally and creatively enriched through excellent work in film, games and television.
“Though Martin McDonagh was born in London, his father and mother were natives of Galway and Sligo respectively and I was delighted to hear him describe himself during the ceremony as ‘half-Irish’.
“These five BAFTA awards are not only abundant evidence of how McDonagh has enriched the lives of cinematic audiences, but also of how his work and the work of the other nominees who are either Irish-born or of Irish heritage have enriched the shared pride of our diaspora in internationally acknowledged creative success.
“I wish to extend my congratulations to Martin McDonagh on these wins and also acknowledge the other Irish nominees and their own tremendous contribution to the arts.”