American star John C. Reilly has been announced as the guest of honour for the first St Patrick’s Day parade for three years.
The celebrations had to be cancelled in Ireland in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
There is a hunger to bring it back with a bang and Reilly is sure to be a great addition to 2022’s event.
The Gangs of New York star comes from Chicago, where there is a large Irish population.
He is proud of his heritage and even became an Irish citizen in 2018 – despite being ‘one grandparent away’ from being automatically able to do so.
Reilly said: “I am so excited to have been chosen as the International Guest of Honour for Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade this year!
“It’s been a long time since we have all been able to celebrate life together and I can’t think of a better place to do it than Ireland. I’m honoured to be part of the celebration of the rich history of Ireland with all of the good people in Dublin.
“A great day for hope and a great day for the Irish and the Irish at heart. See you there.
“Boy oh boy are we ready for a good time. They call that craic in Ireland, it is a little bit different here in America but we are going to have great craic.
“I hope you come join me because I couldn’t be more excited and I’ll see you there.”
He will be joined by Olympic gold winning boxer Kellie Harrington and Paralympic gold medal swimmer Ellen Keane.
Anna McGowan, Interim Director at St. Patrick’s Festival said: ‘We are incredibly excited that John C. Reilly can make the journey to Dublin to take part in the national St. Patrick’s Day Parade. John has proudly and consistently worn his Irish roots with pride on the world stage. His family story is that of millions of our diaspora across the world and we look forward to welcoming him home.”
Before the pandemic changed the world, Reilly used to love visiting Ireland and isn’t shy about mixing with the locals.
He sang Wild Rover in a Co Clare pub one evening as he joined in a trad session that was taking place.
Some good news from @stpatricksfest … American Irish actor, musician and producer John C Reilly will be this year’s International Guest of Honour at the national St Patrick’s Day Parade ☘️💚 pic.twitter.com/3MZL6Amo8M
— Tourism Ireland (@TourismIreland) March 9, 2022