Mark Hamill will be the international guest of honour at this year’s St. Patrick’s Festival in Dublin.
The legendary actor, best known for his role as Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars films, will be the special guest of honour in the presidential stand on March 17 – where he will view the St. Patrick’s Day parade.
Susan Kirby, St. Patrick’s Festival CEO said, “The role of International Guest of Honour is something we have been considering for a few years. There are so many examples of Irish people and the diaspora achieving eminence across many different art forms and disciplines worldwide.”
“Many of these have a special connection with Ireland and we want to celebrate and recognise this. Mark has a special affinity to Ireland through his filming of Star Wars and family history and has done much for our film industry.”
“We’re looking forward to welcoming him back ‘home’ to celebrate our national holiday and St. Patrick’s Festival with us.”
Apart from filming the most recent Star Wars films on Skellig Michael, Mark has strong ties to Ireland, as his great-grandmother Elizabeth Keating was born in Kilkenny on December 6, 1873.
Mark’s grandparents John Keating and Margaret Foley of Gurteen married in Carlow Cathedral in 1822.
Mark also recently attended the 13th Annual Oscar Wilde Awards at Bad Robot in Los Angeles, where he was honoured alongside Barry Keoghan, Paula Malcomson, and Catherine O’Hara.
Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Festivals, Ciara Sugrue said, “The Force will truly be with us on March 17 and we are delighted to hear that Mark Hamill will be joining us as the first ever St Patrick’s Festival international guest of honour.”
“Since filming Star Wars: The Force Awakens in county Kerry, Mark has been a great ambassador for Ireland and it is amazing to have someone of such universal – even galactic – acclaim in this new honorary role.”