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Hylda Queally, Brendan Gleeson and Jonathan Rhys Meyers Honored at 4th Annual "Oscard Wilde: Honoring the Irish in Film"

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Los Angeles - The US-Ireland Alliance, a non-profit organization created to foster ties between the US and Ireland, honored talent agent Hylda Queally and actors Brendan Gleeson and Jonathan Rhys Meyers at the fourth annual "Oscar Wilde: Honoring the Irish in Film" pre-Academy Awards party, February 19th, 2009 at The Ebell of Los Angeles. Recent Golden Globe winner and Academy Award nominee Kate Winslet, a client of Queally’s, was on hand to present her with the award. Desperate Housewives star Dana Delany presented Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ award to Morgan O’Sullivan, who accepted on his behalf. Golden Globe nominated actress Rose Byrne accepted the award for Brendan Gleeson, who was unable to attend for family reasons. Irish musicians Gemma Hayes, Laura Izibor and Republic of Loose wowed the crowd of about 400 people at the popular party, created by the Alliance to bring together people in the film industries in the US and Ireland.

Grammy Award nominated singer Maura O'Connell sang a Clare song to honor Queally, who hails from the same county in the west of Ireland. Other Queally clients in attendance to celebrate their agent included Freida Pinto, Marion Cotillard, Rose Byrne, Abbie Cornish, and Jamie Dornan. Brendan Gleeson sent a video acceptance from Dublin, which was shown after Rose Byrne, who worked with Gleeson in Troy, noted that, “Long ago, before he starred in films, Brendan’s high school students knew what countless screen antagonists had to learn the hard way: don’t mess with Mr. Gleeson.” Emmy Award winner Dana Delany talked about how much Rhys Meyers has already accomplished so soon.

Kate Winslet was delighted to honor her long-time friend and agent Hylda. Given the many awards Kate has been accepting over the past few weeks, she delightedly told the audience, “I have a very long speech, and it’s not about me!” Hylda gave remarks that were both moving and funny. She mentioned how, growing up in Ireland, she received packages of hand-me-down clothes from her American relatives and when she opened the box, it was what she believed was the smell of “America.” She said she now knows it was the smell of Downey fabric softener.

Former Publisher of Variety and head of Rockmore Media, Charlie Koones, served as emcee of the event. Charlie recently joined the Advisory Board of the US-Ireland Alliance.

“Oscar Wilde: Honoring the Irish in Film” has become the fun, casual Irish party that precedes the Academy Awards. In addition to Winslet, Cruz and Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire nominated for best picture), 2009 Oscar nominees in attendance were Robin Swicord, Redmond Morris, Nathan Crowley, Stephanie Green, and Tamara Anghie. The award ceremony was followed by an evening of cocktails, food and music. Also in attendance were Harvey Weinstein, Tracey Ullman and Allan McKeown, Lions Gate Vice Chairman Michael Burns, CAA uber-agents Kevin Huvane and Bryan Lourd, producers Ron Yerxa, Alan Moloney and Morgan O’Sullivan and numerous A&R and film company execs, writers, directors, casting directors, agents and publicists.

Trina Vargo, President of the US-Ireland Alliance said the evening was, “A fantastic success. We were delighted to celebrate the work of Hylda, Brendan and Jonathan and to showcase Irish performers. We’re also thrilled that the casual, relaxed tenor of the event has made it such a sought after ticket.”

Previous honorees include James L. Brooks, Colm Meaney, Fiona Shaw, Van Morrison, Terry George, Bill Monahan, Neil Jordan, Jim Sheridan and David Holmes.

Major sponsors of the event included American Airlines, Quinlan Private, Culture Ireland and Walt Disney Studios. Visit www.us-irelandalliance.org for more information.