This has been a fantastic week for Irish cinema. The achievements of directors, scriptwriters, actors and producers in nabbing seven Oscar nominations is the equivalent of the Irish football team getting to the World Cup final.
Riverdance and Lord of the Dance superstar Michael Flatley received a lifetime achievement award from Irish America magazine December 3 at the 30th annual Business 100 Awards Luncheon at the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan. Flatley, who is also a Golden Gloves-winning boxer and world-class flutist, received the award for his contributions to Irish dance, music, and cultural diplomacy.
Elaine Mahon, a doctoral student at the Dublin Institute of Technology, has published a new article. Her piece, "'Ireland on a Plate’: Curating the 2011 State Banquet for Queen Elizabeth II," appeared in Volume 18, Issue 4 of the M/C Journal of Media and Culture. The piece, which is part of a larger research project into Irish gastronomy and gastrodiplomacy, explores the notion of “diplomatic dining” at the 2011 state banquet.
Hundreds of baby vests and T-shirts have been placed on a beach in Dublin this week, with each one representing a child who died during the 50-day conflict between Gaza and Israel last year. The installation was made by a group of artists who wanted to remember the children killed in the war last summer.
lIn a world fraught with local, national and international fissures, animosities, and violent conflict, the Republic of Ireland stands far above the fray as a stellar example of how a country's verve for the written and spoken word can undergird the conduct of its foreign policy. Simply said, Dublin's adroit use of public diplomacy is a lesson for those who are wedded to an overweening dependency on military, political, and economic prowess as the sole instruments to promote and protect national interests.