Last night we hosted the American premiere of the documentary 1916: The Irish Rebellion and a little bit of Hollywood came to our building! The film, which was produced by the University’s Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, brought to the Center the Ambassador of Ireland to the United States: Anne Anderson, the film’s production team, which includes its writer: Notre Dame Professor of Irish Studies Briona NicDhiarmada, its executive producer: Keough-Naughton director Christopher Fox and its narrator: world-renowned film star Liam Neeson.
Yes, the one and only Liam Neeson was in our building! He walked the red carpet and hammed it up for the “paparazzi”.
Our red carpet was no doubt a little different from the ones he’s used to walking. Our red carpet comes with a light snowstorm! Student Usher Kevin, who was lucky enough to be on Snow Removal duty, swept snow off the carpet several times, getting it ready for our guests. He even made the front page of today’s South Bend Tribute for his efforts!
A few fortunate ushers held the front doors for Mr. Neeson and he entertained guests as soon as he entered by pretending to smash his face into the pole between the two front doors. I’m glad he was just pretending or our evening might have ended a little abruptly!
He then went to the Founder’s Room and mingled with some of the Notre Dame dignitaries that were in attendance. I was told that many people at the event have buildings named after them!
At the start of the program President Jenkins shared a few words, followed by remarks from Ambassador Anderson, Professor Fox, Professor NicDhiarmada, and finally Mr. Neeson. He ended his speech with a beautiful reading of the poem “Easter, 1916” by William Butler Yeats, which led right into the start of the film.
Following the screening was a wonderful reception catered by the Matterhorn with design by MichaelAngelos (who also set up the red carpet for us). Mr. Neeson spent time in the Founder’s Room with more dignitaries (like Ted!)
and then much to everyone’s surprise he went down to the reception and posed for pictures and signed autographs for many students and other guests. He stayed for a while before he was whisked off back to Hollywood…or whatever magical place he may actually live.
A very special thanks to all of the ushers who helped make this event a success. We received high praise from our clients for the event and a great amount of that praise is due to your hard work. So thank you very, very much from all of us!
For more info:
South Bend Tribune’s coverage:
For all of those interested in seeing the documentary, it will be screening again on campus in the Leighton on Thursday March 31st. Also a longer, three-part version of the documentary will be airing on PBS (WNIT) on April 7th (Part 1), April 14th (Part 2) and April 21st (Part 3) all at 9:00 PM and encores on April 10th April 17th and April 24th all at 5:30 PM.